It’s not easy being a parent in a climate crisis
24 Mar 2023
Helen's Drought Story
22 Mar 2023
On the weekend, we held our first @littleclimateheroesplaygroup for 2023.
I was tired. We planned it at the last minute. And I didn’t expect many to come. But I knew if we canceled it would be easier to cancel the next and grind to a halt.
So we invited people to join us, simply, to tidy the garden. To our surprise, quite a crew showed up.
We sat down to discuss our intention for the year. The children, with their incredible, innate wisdom and ability to learn, listed goals like “everybody loves planting!” And “get the government to listen to us” and “finish climate action”. All of which I stand by…But maybe a lot for one year! As we got more specific, it became clear that what the kids enjoyed best (outside of gardening!) was protesting. In particular, they loved the feeling of being heard. I asked “ok. But all we have done lately is garden. How do we get from gardening to protesting? And do we want to do only gardening? Or only protesting?”
One wise little soul said “we need a pattern. And we need to start with gardening. Because then we can say we already started because we did gardening today”.
Something about that idea resonated so deeply. The idea of simply making a start, even if it isn’t perfect. Even if it’s not your end goal.
Eventually, conversation turned to the Voice to Parliament. One of our playgroup parents works in aboriginal affairs, and talked about the different views she has heard in her work. She shared some of her insights with the children.
The children started to see that, just as not every kid in year 2 thinks the same as every other year 2, so there is not one monolithic thing called the “Indigenous voice”. Creating a plan for the Voice requires careful listening and consultation. Not all will agree. But for those saying it’s not enough, I want to say “let’s start with the gardening so we can say we’ve started”. The momentum that brings! The sense of not aiming for the end all at once, but moving in the right direction. And with enough “yes”es, the steps will move faster and become a run.
We decided on these words for our 2023 intention: Listen. Communicate. Act.
If that doesn’t sound like the perfect beginning, I don’t know what is.
- Reflections of Liz Baker.
More information about Little Climate Heroes playgroup
Climate Heroes is a child centred and child led gathering for families and the supports around them. We come together to empower our smallest ones with the knowledge, passion and purpose to work to protect our environment, to advocate for change, and to find fulfilment and purpose in community. In the process, grown ups engage in nurturing their own hope, sense of purpose, connection to community and ability to be caretakers and leaders.
All activities and conversation hold hope at their heart. We protect and strengthen our children by maintaining child/age appropriate subject matter and language. We take seriously the importance of focussing on what we can do, rather than what we can’t. We buffer and channel our grown up worries into action, hope and power for our children. This is not the space to share our own anxiety. This is the space to guide our children, and in turn, find our own motivation and encouragement. This is a space of play and exploration, not just for children, but for adults too.
Based on a combination of permaculture, principals of regenerative culture, and the “Work that Reconnects” of activist Joanna Macy and supported by AP4CA, our group will meet regularly and locally to lead families through creative expression and learning, paired with practical activities like tending a community garden and preparing for (family friendly) climate actions. For more information contact Claire or Liz at [email protected] or connect via through instagram
Australian Parents for Climate Action meet and work on the lands of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people and respect that sovereignty of those lands was never ceded. We pay respect to Elders, past and present and emerging, and acknowledge the pivotal role that Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people continue to play within the Australian community.