Climate change isn’t just changing the climate: It’s affecting every part of our world. To help kids understand the transformation of our planet that’s happening right now, All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal With Climate Change by Leslie Davenport will take them on a journey through many different branches of science, our history, our societies and cultures, and into their own mind and feelings. As they learn about climate change, they’ll also be learning about themselves. Your child will be learning more about what they’re feeling and why, and this book will give them some new tools to express their feelings so they aren’t overwhelmed.
Here’s an excerpt from the Note for Parents, Caregivers, Teachers, and Counselors:
As we learn more about the impacts of climate change, at times it may be frightening or sad and make us nervous or angry or more. You may experience all the feelings under the sun. These feelings are totally natural and healthy.
Parenting and teaching are challenging, but raising children on a planet that’s heating up can feel downright daunting. We want to be guides and guardians as we teach our children about the world around them, and we also feel the natural instinct to protect them from threats and suffering. Climate change poses a dilemma: How can we help our children move forward with love, wonder, and resilience while knowing that climate change will likely impose tremendous difficulties in their future?
All the Feelings Under the Sun presents realistic and age-appropriate climate science and answers the questions that kids are asking about their changing world. It also offers effective coping tools in the form of exercises, each of which supports their curiosity and helps them build emotional resilience as their climate-change awareness grows.
It can be helpful if you read the book in its entirety as well. If you share their understanding of the material and techniques presented here, you’ll be better equipped to help them with questions that might arise. Climate change is a challenging topic for most adults too, so reading the book will likely bring into focus your own complex feelings about the increasing ecological damage being done to our planet.
Reading this book provides the opportunity to address environmental concerns as a family by engaging in eco-wise conversations and projects that everyone can participate in. The most important factor in helping kids cope emotionally with the reality of climate change is to empower them to become part of the solution. Helping them focus on what they can influence and control provides them with safety and reassurance—and teaches them a valuable life skill so they’ll be able to think, reflect, and act effectively throughout their lives.
Kids also need a safe emotional place to express their vulnerability. They may voice fears or sadness about loss of wildlife, natural disasters, water or air pollution, the safety of friends and family, and even their pets. It’s not helpful to tell them there’s no reason to be upset. After validating their feelings, you can remind them that there are many people who care and are committed to making the world healthier and safer, and that they can be part of that too.
As you work through the material in the book, you and your child will both be surprised at your growing resilience, which might extend beyond simply coping with a changing world: All the Feelings Under the Sun fosters a new frame of mind that builds creativity, empathy, a sense of belonging, and a positive shift toward making meaningful change. New relationships and connections may be forged, and you and your child can acquire tools and resources for more skillfully navigating life overall. This book is both an invitation and a map for discovering the real possibility of creating a healthier world together.
If your child is anxious and you are looking for a therapist, you can consult the climate-aware therapist directory provided in the book or use APA’s therapist locator to find a psychologist near you.
Related Books from Magination Press
All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal with Climate Change
All the Feelings Under the Sun: How to Deal With Climate Change is a timely, thoughtful book that will help young readers work through their feelings of anxiety about climate change. Through informative text and activities, the book gives children age-appropriate information about the climate crisis and gives them the tools they need to manage their anxiety and work toward making change.