Teaching PEACE to Children is a daily choice.
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Teaching PEACE to Children is a daily choice.

Hello Everyone,


Recently, I have  been giving much thought to the way children are being raised and the influence that their daily experiences have on whether or not they carry on the idea of "war" or "peace".   I've had an opportunity to observe young children...5,6,7,8 and 9 years old.  Some enjoy cartoons and computer programs about over-coming the enemy and/or just fighting.  In some programs, creatures fight just to be fighting...for no apparent reason.  Other children are being raised without such television programs and/or games...and do not even know such programs exist! Their form of entertainment is art, reading and riding their bikes or scooters. 
And it is from their life experiences, I feel they respond to life! So, what are you teaching the children in your life?  

Here are a couple of examples of children and their responses in different settings.    

 A 6 and 8 year old come home from school and immediately head for the TV or computer.  And what do they put on?  Games, where they are hitting people over their head...and knocking them out!  Recently, a heard a little 6 year old girl say, "Goodie... I killed him and a group of boys, laughing and giggling... every time they knocked out one of the men in their game!  If these are the games children are being exposed to, no wonder, they want to fight with their brother or sister...and other children in the neighborhood or at school.  

Another example.  A 9 year old, is learning to play the piano.  He learns a new song...a silly song, which entails this man doing several silly things... and not being very happy!  When given an opportunity to change the last verse in the song...he makes it so the man is given a gift...which makes him happy...and from then on acts HAPPY! It was such a delight to observe how this young child, so easily thought of a happy ending!

The time has come I believe where we must rethink and reevaluate every thought we think, every word we speak, and every action we make!  In addition, the time has come to re-evaluate every book we give children...every television program we allow them to watch and all the video games we bring into our home.   

I do believe that we each have a great responsibility in each and every moment.   We can teach our children to live in PEACE...or to act out the violence they are exposed to.  Saying no to violent games, cartoons and movies is a vote for PEACE!

I invite your thoughts and comments.  And would LOVE to hear what you are doing to teach PEACE! 

Sharon
info@sharonannwikoff.com







6 Comments to Teaching PEACE to Children is a daily choice. :

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Darrell Moneyhon on Monday, December 19, 2011 12:34 PM
The following excerpt from my book, Allsville Emerging (www.allsvilleemerg.com) offers some childhood education strategies related to teaching peace, in the sense that children with true positive self esteem are less likely to compensate with power over others. from pages 125-126 of Allsville Emerging, by Darrell Moneyhon: The gift of a child’s mental orientation, like all gifts, is found on the other side of a curse. A child’s limitation in emotional control, in social skills, and in physical abilities is a curse that is on one side of the “coin.” The gift of wonder and dynamic engagement with life is on the other side. Providing an environment in which children get the support they need to accept, manage, and transcend their curse seems to be a major role of early socialization and education. To do so, the adult citizens of Allsville need to have the core virtue of awareness squarely in place when it comes to understanding that the curse of childhood is part of its gift. This awareness would allow adults to truly accept children as they are. In addition to acceptance, adults need what clinical psychology theorist Carl Rogers called “positive regard.” We can best help the child negotiate his or her curse by keeping our sights on the gift side of the curse. In this way, we will provide an attitude of genuine respect toward the future leaders of Allsville. One of the major characteristics of effective childhood education would be a form of “affirmative action.” Frequent and consistent acts of affirming the child’s worth would be necessary. Jeffery recalled some ideas from Werner Lange’s book, Social Spirituality. Jeffery read that book after Todd recommended it to him during one of their early blog sessions. The third chapter of Lange’s book was titled “The Divine Child.” While Lange draws our attention to the childlike quality of spirituality and to the spiritual qualities of the child, he acknowledges the need to help the child actualize his/her spiritual potential by manifesting it in a social context. He states that “Not until culture is internalized and The Spirit is externalized is the miracle of new human life complete.” Lange goes on to identify seven stages, or “days,” of social-spiritual development. Jeffery noticed the similarity of these stages to psychological theorist Eric Erickson’s stages of psychosocial development, but he appreciated the advantages of approaching the issue of development from a spiritual point of view. The spiritual twist that Lange puts on psychosocial development seems to best fit the social paradigm of Allsville. Dr. Lange’s “seven days of spiritualization” include: 1. majesty (birth), 2. security (infancy), 3. creativity (early childhood), 4. productivity (mid through late childhood), 5. intimacy (early adulthood), 6. magnanimity (middle adulthood), and 7. mystery (late adulthood). To Jeffery, these potential stages of learning are part of a “gift package.” Every stage is like a gift which presents itself in its own time. Each is a beautifully decorated package, just waiting to be unwrapped. These stages, and the virtues related to each of them, will unfold best when the educator sees and appreciates the developmental stage as being something special to be worked with, instead of on. During each stage, the student also reveals a bit more of his or her personality qualities. Hegel’s and Wilber’s concept of “transcend and include” is useful here. Each of the lower stages of development is eventually included in the higher stages. The higher stages transcend, but include, the lower stages. A lower stage of development is not something lesser that needs to be hurried through. Pressuring the child to perform academic tasks that go beyond his current developmental priorities and abilities can cause serious problems on down the road. Such unhealthy pressure is the educational version of the spiritual concept of “pushing the river.” Jeffery noticed how the vision of education as being an unfolding of the gift seems to match Todd’s mystical vision of a seed unfolding across the seasons (in the Door of Receptive section of part two of The Master Tool essay). By being focused on the student’s positive qualities and/or potentials, as symbolized by the seed, we can better help that student overcome his or her learning deficits and developmental obstacles. He recalled a couple of lines from a song called Spellbound, that he wrote several years ago. The song was a tribute to his wife, who is a kindergarten teacher. The first line was an acknowledgement of the need to approach the students in a positive way. The line suggests that students are gifted—capable of reaching far. “When she looks at the children she is trying to teach, she is spellbound with giving them something to reach.” The second line addresses the power of a child’s gift of wonder and creativity, “If they are spellbound with lovin’ to learn, then the dreams of a child can make the whole world turn.” Darrell
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Darrell Moneyhon on Saturday, December 31, 2011 9:50 AM
Clarification and Contextualization of Earlier Comment: The educational system of the fictional town of Allsville (in the book Allsville Emerging, www.allsvilleemerging.com) believes that: A. Every child HAS a gift. One of the major tasks (in fact, job number one) of education is to find each student's gifts, develop the gifts, and apply them, so the student/citizen can share her gift (natural, God-designed, aptitudes and dispostitions) with the community and the world. Allsville looks for basic "gift orientations" (based largely on Carl Jung's "psychological types"), but assesses all sorts of aptitudes/gifts from early childhood on (while being careful, however, not to pigeon-hole the student/citizen). B. Every child IS a gift. Every child is a gift in two major ways: 1. First childhood itself is a gift which offers special things to adult teachers and citizens. 2. Second, each person, whether child or adult, is a gift worthy of what psychologist Carl Rogers calls "positive regard." The educators and citizens of Allsville see the person as a plus. This is one way that Allsville practices the consented-upon "spiritual principle of Appreciation." The attitude of seeing a child/person/student as being a gift actually appreciates the value of the contributions which the person has to offer the community. This increase in value/worth occurs in the manner of a positive self-fulfilling prophesy. One could also catagorize this practice as being a subset of Wayne Dyer's "Law of Abundance," in that, by looking at the plus-potential of the child an abundance of realized potentials are gradually reaped. Kind of like "Let go, and let GOOD." Because Allsville's educational system emphasizes gift-development, it is called the "Function of Matching and Personal Development" (FMPD). "Matching" means that each child's inner gifts and potentials are "matched" with external means of expressions. Best-fitting avocational and occupational "niches" are found for each child, using, of course, the child's own sense of resonance or fit. The FMPD uses an "inside-out" approach to education, instead of an outside-in approach which assumes the child's mind is a blank slate to place information on. The FMPD emphasizes "out-formation" (expression, manisfestation, actualization) more than it does "in-formation." In the blog comment before this, I emphasized point B. 1. : the fact that childhood itself, as a stage, is a special gift to adult teachers and citizens. darrell
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Sharon Ann Wikoff on Friday, November 30, 2012 6:44 AM
Darrell...thank you so much for your comments. They have much value, wise insights...and wisdom in them. Children are such a blessing. And when we can truly be in the moment with them...we can learn so much. Thank you for sharing.


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