This is an interesting subject for me at the moment since my daughter is expecting her first child, my first grandchild, in less than 3 weeks. He is breech and today is the day her doctor is going to try and turn him, so everyone cross your fingers that it is a success!
But peace, and children? How do we teach our children about peace?
How do we teach children about anything?
I think children learn a lot by example.
- If parents relate to others in a peaceful and tolerant manner, children will think this is normal behavior and try to behave in the same way.
- If parents relate to their children in a peaceful manner, children will see how conflicts are resolved and how differences are handled.
- If parents practice tolerance and understanding of other races, other nationalities, and other lifestyles I think children are less likely to have an US vs THEM mentality which makes peaceful relationships difficult. If you can make opportunities for children to interact with different kinds of people, travel and experience other countries and cultures, that’s even better.
- I also think that it’s good to limit children’s exposure to violence on TV, in movies, in toys, and other exposures to the violence that is so prevalent in our society. What you see and experience becomes normal, becomes a part of you. I never saw cartoons as a kid and was horrified by them as an adult. Instead, I watched a lot of Mr Rogers and Sesame Street with my kids.
- I think it is also important to be a positive person in your world. Form ties with others in your family and community. Give time, attention, and help where it is needed. Put relationships above money and power. Try to put good energy out into your world.
Both of my daughters are loving, gentle, caring, and kind women. Maybe I taught them something? I don’t know. I do know they are intelligent women who have made their own decisions, and I am proud of who they have become. Their children will be fortunate to grow up in peaceful, loving homes and that is where it starts for all of us. It is easier to learn to be peaceful when you start with a loving, peaceful foundation.
I found a few articles that I thought were helpful. An internet search is likely to turn up even more information by people with more knowledge and expertise than me.
Focus on the Family
ABC Teach (teaching materials)