Children’s relationship with natural world needs care

18 September 2020

Children are happier and more likely to protect the natural world when they have a greater connection to it.

However, this connection is complex and can also cause negative emotions linked to issues such as climate change, revealed the literature review in the journal People and Nature.

The study showed that young people are more likely to believe a better world is possible when friends, family and teachers listen sympathetically to their fears and give them a safe space to share emotions.

Author Dr Louise Chawla said: ‘People who study children’s connection with nature and those who study their coping with environmental risk and loss have been pursuing separate directions.’ Instead, they need ‘to be paying attention to each other’s work’.