3 Ways Climate Change Makes Parenting Tougher

BY ON July 1, 2014

Mother and child sihouetted against a yellow sky

This post is written by MCAF’s Washington, DC Field Organizer, Julie Hantman

Climate change is harming our kids’ health and their futures. But what’s not mentioned, is how climate change is going to complicate our jobs as parents.

My daughter is a toddler. While I haven’t had to explain climate change to her yet — no super-storm has touched down here in Washington, DC where we live — most days I feel like climate change already has handed me a tougher job description than I expected when I decided to become a mom.

Here are 3 ways climate change makes my parenting job tougher than I’d imagined:

  1. My job as Teacher. Like any parent, I yearn to teach my child about the world around her. Animal pictures and stories fill my daughter’s bookshelf. Yet, climate change will push some animal species to extinction.
  2. My job as Protector. I put sunscreen on my daughter before she leaves the house. Her father and I protect and provide for her. Yet down the road, and possibly even before she leaves the house for good, my family may face far bigger threats than we’ve known — extreme weather catastrophes, food shortages, epidemics.
  3. My job as Reassurer-in-Chief. A child desperately needs a sense of hope. My mother used to tell me things would be okay. Her voice still resonates and soothes me in turbulent times. With our climate changing so rapidly, how can I reassure my daughter that the future will be bright, her horizons will broaden, and the world will be improved?

When a new job turns out harder than you thought, one option is to leave. Not an option for parents.

A second option is to seek help from others. Who is offering parents help to adjust to climate change? We’ll have to figure this one out ourselves.

One thing I know — I won’t be building a fortress filled with supplies for hunkering down. That’s not how I roll.

How I roll is building community. In a community, parents can find comfort — and we can act together — side by side.

A parent’s job is already tough — now it seems poised to become immeasurably tougher. That makes for another good reason for moms and dads to come together and support the EPA’s historic announcement to cut carbon emissions from power plants. Unfortunately, some lawmakers are now doing everything in their power to undermine the EPA regulation.

Our nation has 33 million households with children under 18. That’s a lot of parents. Parents are strong, compassionate, and focused on the future.

playin_logo_smWe can do this. Together. Join us on July 9th in Washington, DC at a PLAY-IN FOR CLIMATE ACTION. Together, let’s urge lawmakers to support EPA in addressing dangerous carbon pollution emissions, and show united support for the Clean Power Rule.

I’ll be at the PLAY-IN with hundreds of other concerned parents. Will you?

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TOPICS: Activism, Children's Health, Climate Change, Dads, Motherhood, Washington DC