Children will not only will they grow up to inherit the world we have created – they can also play a major role in creating the world we all wish to see. All too often, children are sidelined. They are viewed as powerless dependents, who are merely there to be guarded and protected. But children who are empowered to create change show that they have amazing capacity to truly change the world for the better.
I am not a parent myself, but I do work with parents to help them work with and inspire the future generation. As adults, we have an obligation to our children – not just to protect and nurture them, but to value them, and listen to what they have to say.
Children can offer things that grown adults often cannot. They come at problems from a different perspective. Often, they are less jaded than older people. They have not been worn down by the daily grind – by the stresses and strains of daily existence – and so are often not as defeatist about the problems we face. They can see things from a fresh, unpolluted angle – without being weighed down by the freight of politics, social conditioning and disappointments.
Adults are often ‘gate keepers’ for children. Since children cannot vote, make their own purchasing decisions, or head out into the world on their own, their ability to create sustainable change is, of course, dictated by their parents or guardians to a massive degree.
While some, unique children are able to transcend their upbringing, most will be curbed and confined to a degree by those who are in charge of their education and care. For this reason, it is vitally important that those responsible for children empower them to make sustainable change, rather than standing in their way.
We can empower children for sustainable change by:
- Educating them about the natural world, and in practical skills for sustainability.
- Through leading by example. (‘Show, don’t tell.’)
- By creating safe spaces and allowing them to make their own decisions and take the lead.
- Ensuring they have some free time and agency.
- Providing them with he practical tools they need for sustainable change.
If you have children and would like some help to empower them for sustainable change, please do get in touch.