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Dd 14 really worried about climate change and leaving eu(30 Posts)
So much so that she can’t sleep and cries at the awfulness of it all. How do I reassure her? It is awful!
She lives her life and leaves the planet in as good a place as possible.
I am resigned to accepting that we are in decline. It's a grieving process.
Is she reading the news a lot? Even a couple days break from it could help her in that case. Limiting news in general is helpful.
Climate change is a real existential threat and it's tough to be reassuring about.
Leaving the EU for me is not in the same league and with perspective of other political events it doesn't feel as massive so it seems like she does have it a bit out of proportion - could bring her perspective on that? When I think of wars, conflicts and dictatorships that members of my own family have lived through, I get a sense of perspective on a lot of things!
Can you look at stories of resilience? When I was around 14 I think I read a lot of stories around WW2 and was always in awe of the way that people coped and even managed to be very decent in challenging times. I think examples of strength help you build your own.
This is a tough one because she is not unreasonable to be worried. Her adult life most likely will be much harder and shorter than it could otherwise be. But that's what has happened and we all have to deal with it somehow.
What has helped me as an adult
* Taking a break from the news for a few days occasionally
* Getting involved in climate change organisations. Seems counter to the above point, but rather than make me more depressed it gave me a feeling that people do understand and care and are trying. Would it help if she channelled her grief in to action, maybe by getting involved at her school or with a student organisation?
It is awful
DD2 - can't even go near the subject accidentally as she gets so angry and tearful
DD1 - more measured as older but similar
Both have said they won't have children
Tell her to stop reading the news. She’s having an existential crisis. It’s typical for teenagers. I think half of my friends had one between 13-18.
Poor girl. I went through the same crisis a few years ago. It was part of an anxiety disorder that gradually became much worse, but CBT genuinely did help. It didn’t help for my chronic depression, but for the existential dread it really did. Basically you are supported in trying to ‘retrain’ your brain so that you have healthier thinking patterns and can rationalise a little better. I’m not saying I think the world is okay - I’m fairly confident that we’re fucked. But I also don’t spend whole nights lying awake thinking about it anymore, and I don’t feel like it’s my complete responsibility to try and fix the world either. I’m much more capable of just existing and enjoying each day as it comes.
I would recommend keeping away from the news though, and maybe unfollowing some of the more politically active people on social media. It really isn’t helpful to be so conscious of what’s going on when you’re in quite a vulnerable position.
I would encourage her to go easy on social media but maybe join some suitable activity that works to mitigate the ecological disaster. It does actually help to feel you are doing something, however small, even if it's just cleaning plastic off a beach.
I really feel for your dd op . It's hard to be a teenager nowadays.
My dd went through this when she was 14 yrs, two years ago. It' s hard to reassure her because climate change is a serious issue and being expats, Brexit is affecting us hugely, but I think as parents we also have to try and reassure as best we possibly can.
What we did was draw up a list of small measures we could do as a family to improve matters in a very minor way: give up one use plastic, plant trees, cut down on food waste, recycle, walk instead of drive on short journeys, instigated a second veggie food day per week etc, etc etc. We also encouraged time away from phones and were a bit more proactive about providing a place for dd's friends to gather so she was having more face-to-face interaction with them. And we encouraged sports and outdoor activities such as: horse-riding, walking, running, dancing etc as well as good sleep, healthy eating etc. I also posted technical advances that support sustainability on her SM.
I think what a pp said is true though that adolescence is a worrying and troubling time in itself anyway: you begin to learn more about the grim realities of the world, and you realise your parents are just frail humans and not miracle workers and you are assailed by doubts about yourself and by hormones etc etc, and its helpful to regularly point out past worries that didn't come to fruition, and to constantly say things like "I was worried about x but went ahead anyway and y happened which was great" or impress upon them that it's ok to be scared it's how they react to that fear that is important and although life is unpredictable, it can be pleasurable too.
The other thing that helps I think as parents is modelling how to enjoy your life and keep calm and rational. I don't always succeed at this as I am quite anxious myself but I keep having small attempts here and there and try and do the odd thing that is out of my comfort zone (eg I did scary language exam this year , went through major operation reasonably calmly apart from a few initial minor wobbles , volunteered for something I find difficult).
Dd does seem to have become a bit less anxious as she has matured a bit but there is an epidemic of anxiety out there in rl so it's not at all easy.
Good luck op
Thank you everyone. Sorry not to have replied sooner, I was finding other stuff quite tricky to cope with. Thank you for your caring replies and advice. Teenagers are certainly challenging!
It’s awful, it really is. But you have to help teach her resilience.
Hope she's okay. I have to actively step away from the news sometimes, the climate news is needed but not so much for her generation but for ours.
There are a couple of websites I follow to balance things: Future Crunch and Good News Network on FB, I assume they're in other social media too.
It also helps me to remind myself that the news terms to only report bad stuff. Sometimes reading a around a subject gives a bit more hope, for example, the US might be withdrawing from the Paris accord at a federal level but on a state level quite a few are adopting climate policies in place of that. Not all of the US is like Trump and his time will run out.
Also, while there is definitely change happening in the environment, there also the greatest rate of change I've seen during my years in the environmental industry in public awareness. Climate and the environment are being talked about so much more, at an institutional, individual and political level. Climate activism does work and I would encourage her to get involved if that would help her.
There are also things you can do to help her such as making changes as a family to reduce your carbon footprint and writing to your MP and local councillors asking what they are doing to get your constituency/ ward carbon zero. And with local consultations by your council, state climate change as an important local issue. It might help her if you take action too.
Thank you cranky that is a very clear and useful post.
We have talked about asking the council how they are off setting 4000 new houses , in our area. We did start a protest, dh wasn’t too keen in case we annoyed the landowner round here.
Will get on the case with her. And do more research myself. Thank you. Keep up the good work in the environmental industry .
Her adult life most likely will be much harder and shorter than it could otherwise be
Ffs! What is wrong with people?!
Yes to building resilience and less reading the news and getting anxious. Help her put her worries to work and have her volunteer somewhere. The sooner she can help out and make a difference somewhere the less time she will have to be upset and crying about it at home. Or genuinely take a trip to the doctor about her mental health.
This sounds like an extreme and unnecessary reaction to these issues.
Does she suffer from anxiety? She should avoid reading the news. Perhaps a visit to the GP might help. They could possibly refer her for CBT to help her.
When I was a teenager ( ages ago) lots of people were really worried about nuclear war. Building bunkers and all sorts.
I honestly think it’s a phase some people go through.
Teach her resilience and to do the best she can,her worrying will not make a jot of difference to the outcome.
Her adult life most likely will be much harder and shorter than it could otherwise be
This is a ridiculous statement, it isn’t true
I think it's a perfectly normal thing - at the same age I was worried about the Persian Gulf War and catastrophised to quite an extent. When the worry about that dissipated I moved my worries to something else. I found writing a diary really helped and kept one from 14-21, all through my hardest teenage years. I still have them and don't even really recognise the person I was then - a bundle of anxiety and depression and worrying what others thought of me.
I don't think leaving the EU is comparable to climate change. Yes, leaving may cause some problems but climate change definitely will cause lots of problems.
I agree that watching/reading news less helps. I am a real worrier and don't watch the news regularly now. I do look at online news as it is easier to be more selective on stories.
She can only try and do her bit such as helping with recycling, buying less and/or secondhand clothes, walking more, using public transport if possible, eating less meat. The most important thing though is choosing only to have 1 or 2 children or, even better, none at all
I have had similar with DD, we aren't through it yet but one of the things I have done is started to add the BBC podcast of People Fixing The World to our listening over a meal at the weekends.
There was an article on young peoples attitute to climate change, actism etc and there seems to be a theme amongst young people that there is going to be a hiuge die-off in the very near future. How this is being spread, and believed I do not know. I suspect this is, along with activist parents that prompted Geta's "You have stolen my childhood " outburst.
I lived through the Cold War and the threat of thermonuclear attacks from the Soviet Union, our parents had to deal with actual bombs falling and the liklihood of invasion and massed killings. How did we/they cope (genuine question). Did we cope?
Brexit - this government will take us ou of the EU. There is a plan we may or not agree with the plan but there is a plan. It's up to the EU to approve or no, and ensuring trade deals may or may not be accepted. That is up to the UK and EU negotiators to thrash out.
Be lucky that dd is not in Scotland and having the additional worry about independence or not to worry about.
Leaving the EU is not a disaster on a par with Climate Change.
Leaving the EU will have negative economic impact in the short term because change always costs, and may or may not have negative lasting impact in the medium-long term depending on so many wide and varied factors.
Climate Change she can do her bit, but there is no point her losing sleep and crying about stuff she can't impact.
I am astonished that people suggest avoiding the news is a good idea. I actually encourage DD to listen/read the news and we discuss it accordingly. I think it is more important finding suitable networks/websites.
Look at what she is reading. There are tons of scaremongering websites around and these need to be avoided, general news stations and balanced newspapers are better.
Discuss with her how to start small, it is not all about Greta but everyday actions like looking what you buy/use and eat.
The EU - sorry I disagree with @xtinak. The current teens are a generation who will miss out on all the things our generation took for granted, easy trips to Europe to work/study or just visit. I have family members and friends who had easy access to European universities and could live and work afterwards without the hassle and costs we will have thanks to Brexit. The world the teens will live in will be getting smaller for opportunities in the next 5-10 years until everything recovers.
I work for an EU company and we don't know how Brexit will affect us, obviously DD listen to us discussing it.
The current teens are a generation who will miss out on all the things our generation took for granted, easy trips to Europe to work/study or just visit
I'm pretty sure they'll still be allowed to visit other European countries after Brexit 😏