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Support and Advice from TNPC's Parenting Experts

A revolution seems to be taking place in contemporary culture. Many children, inspired by the new concern being placed on protecting the environment, are heeding the call and developing a new “eco-awareness” that may be transforming our society. All across the country, there are classrooms of kids working on projects designed to rid the planet of pollution and kinds of habits that give rise to it. In Tennessee, kids have convinced a restaurant to stop using Styrofoam packaging. In Minnesota, a child donates her birthday money to causes like Greenpeace and Rainforest Action Network. In California, a group of kids campaign to stop a planned balloon launch–pointing out that balloons can be eaten by wildlife who then die from suffocation. you can help encourage this kind of awareness in your own family by following a few simple guidelines.

• First develop an ecology project as a family. It might be writing a letter to save the rain forests, or picking up garbage along a littered highway, or joining the Sierra Club. But make sure all members of the family have input into the choice of a project.

• Second, develop your ecological literacy. Watch nature programs on TV (public television is especially good in this respect) that encourage ecological responsibility, subscribe to magazines that promote environmental issues, and read one or more of the many good books that have come out on the subject in recent years.

• Finally, help promote in your children a deep respect for nature. Children are intuitively drawn to animals and natural phenomenon. Help them keep that love alive by spending time in nature and by respecting the fauna and flora there (e.g. don’t pick the flowers). In all of these ways you can help promote the welfare of our planet and save the earth for generations of children to come.

Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. is an award-winning author and speaker with twenty-eight years of teaching experience from the primary through the doctoral level, and over one million copies of his books in print on issues related to learning and human development. He is the author of nine books including Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, In Their Own Way, Awakening Your Child’s Natural Genius, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, and Awakening Genius in the Classroom. His books have been translated into sixteen languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Danish, and Russian.

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