Most research on the impact of climate change on children’s mental health has focused on the trauma caused by natural disasters. Hurricanes, floods, and extreme weather events are usually the first time children are exposed to climate change (even if they were not aware of it at the time) and may affect the way children grow up.
“Disasters do affect how children see the world and shape their feelings about the future,” Dr. Betty LaiA researcher at Boston College told mbg. Ms. Li has completed the task of monitoring how children respond to large-scale disasters such as hurricanes. Although she said that every child is different, some common reactions may include difficulty falling asleep, aggressive behavior, negative beliefs about the future or dreams or flashbacks of events.
To help children overcome these post-traumatic stress symptoms, Lai said, giving them the opportunity to talk about their feelings is the key. Her research found that parents and caregivers often think that their children are feeling the same emotions as they feel, and may prefer not to talk about them. In fact, this is not always the case, and silence can leave children with unresolved problems.
She said: “Usually, when children ask how they performed, they feel relieved because they hold these feelings and want to have a chance to talk about it.” This can also reduce the possibility that children will blame themselves for what happened.
“Sometimes, if you don’t check in, children can invent what they think happened because they want to be confused about it themselves. They need a little help from adults,” Lai said. “This is what makes children vulnerable in these disaster situations. They don’t have much experience in interacting with the world, so they try to understand how these parts fit together. It can be very important to give them the opportunity to ask questions.”
Open communication channels can also help verify the child’s emotions. In the end, we don’t have to wait until disaster strikes to do so.
From Lai’s point of view, we can provide children with the best way to grow up in a warm world by providing them with sufficient ways to safely talk about their feelings and teach them the skills to deal with adverse events , While maintaining an optimistic attitude.
School counselors and social workers were trained, but their funds were severely underfunded. The American Association of School Counselors recommends one school counselor for every 250 children. It sounds like a low rate at first, but this is a rate that only two states meet unanimously.In most parts of the country, the average level is closer 1 out of every 464 consultants students. In order for the next generation to succeed, we need to build more emotional support systems for them at home and school.