I don’t think we can really make a generalization about parenting today and attitudes toward the environment. Obviously every family is different. Several of my friends who have kids do teach them about the importance of environmental issues. I’m not sure that a fear of “ruining” childhoods is behind any particular reticence–how could a child’s life be “ruined” by knowing that it’s important to live sustainably or to conserve natural resources? I think the opposite is probably true, that teaching kids about environmental matters can greatly enhance their understanding of the world and their place in it. I remember taking my 2-year-old nephew into the forest for the first time. Having spent most of his life indoors by that point, he was captivated by the sights and sounds around him, and was especially interested in seeing frogs in real life, which he knew previously only from story books and pictures. A trip to a local forest, river or other natural area is one of the best activities you can do with kids. I think a lot of modern parents understand and appreciate this, and even those who don’t put any particular emphasis on environmental issues would probably not, in most cases, actively try to shield their kids from being exposed to them.
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