In these crazy times when we can't seem to find peace anywhere, we have to remember that it starts in the home and that it starts with our youngest. What a huge responsibility that is. I'm a firm believer in the old adage, "What we focus on, we get more of."
So that means in my world, we focus on learning the skills needed to create peace.
I've seen enough chaos and fighting over 40 years of teaching our youngest and their families. I wonder how we're ever going to get to the place of peace we all want if we can't define it and teach the skills we need to get there.
Many adults don't have those skills either so I'm going to hone it down to the three most important and then reveal my surefire method of teaching those skills to children as young as 18 mos. old and up.
1. Learning to communicate our feelings assertively.
2. Learning to respect other people's bodies and their feelings.
3. Learning to understand and control our impulses.
All feelings are OK. All actions are not.
Some are hurtful and some helpful. Would you rather be hurtful or helpful?
We have a motto that we like to sing about in my family child care home and it goes like this.
"Be safe, be kind, be gentle and you'll be ok,
you'll be ok, you'll be ok
"Be safe, be kind, be gentle and you'll be ok.
When you are at school" (or when you are at home)
The tune we use is "All I want for Christmas is my 2 front teeth" but others would do just the same.
Now here's how to teach peace.
First we have to define it. When we hear and see that all in the room are engaged and happy, we call it what it is.
"You're creating peace, children. That's a great accomplishment! This is what peace feels like. Doesn't it feel good?"
When all of the children are playing peacefully, they're engaged and learning. How often do we simply ignore them when they are occupied in this way and call them out as soon as they have a problem with each other or get too loud?
Or how often do we end this kind of focussed play and get them to do something prescribed by us instead?
The bottom line here is that if we really want peace we have to communicate much better than we do and we need to start by teaching our youngest. Remember that we all need to learn more about peace if we are to create it.
So we have to define peace, notice when peace is created and teach the assertiveness skills needed to create it which all involve better communication. Good luck creating peace wherever you are and let me know if you have success with it. Feel free to share this post if you liked it and it helped you in any way!
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