How Do Children Learn to Live and Play Peacefully?
In today’s world I think that if we want our children to live and play in ways that are peaceful, we must make a conscious effort to surround them with opportunities to experience peace on a daily basis.
Because they are exposed to so much which may not be aligned with PEACE, a “special” effort is necessary to provide them opportunities every day to experience PEACE!
In the 1970’s when my children were very young, in my home hung Dorothy Law Nolte’s wall hanging with the poem: CHILDREN LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE.
A few of the lines from this poem are as follows:
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration,
they learn respect.
Just recently, Dorothy’s book, Children Learn What They Live, crossed my path, and once again I was reminded of the great truth in her words.
There is the old saying: Actions are worth 1000 words! I believe this to be very true.
So, how do we teach children to live and play in a peaceful manner? I believe that they must be immersed in just such an environment. I invite you to step back and observe objectivity your child’s life and see what he experiences on an usual day.
Is the home environment peaceful?
Is there order to your home?
Do you speak to each other in a kind manner?
Do to listen to peaceful radio or television stations?
Are your child’s teacher/s centered in peace?
Does your child have time to think his/her own thoughts in quiet?
Do you take time to listen to your child?
Amina Mac Leod, a young women, who wrote a column on Children’s Rights at the age of 13, states:The greatest gift you can give your child is a completely safe place to speak what is on their heart and in their mind. A place where there is complete openness to hearing them”.
Years ago when I was working in a Child Development Center, I was speaking with a co-teacher. We were planning the following week’s activities. It was late in the afternoon and most of the children had gone home, so we had a few moments to talk. Two little 5-year olds were playing very near us. One of the little girls, I’ll call her Nancy, walked over to us and said, “Why do you talk to each other so nicely?”
Children are always watching and listening! Think of what you do in your home that is already showing your children how to live and play in PEACE. It might be that your family always sits down to a breakfast or dinner together. Or, it might be that you read your child a book before he/she goes to sleep. Anything that you do that brings a sense of peace and contentedness to your child, is teaching PEACE.
I invite you to keep a journal and acknowledge yourself daily for the ways you teach PEACE in your home. It might be as simple as saying "Thank You" to your little one who picks up a book off the floor and puts it on the shelf, or to your children who are playing nicely together. Observing what is already "right" and focusing on that, promotes greater rightness.
Sharon Ann Wikoff is the mother of three fabulous adult children, all living a unique and full life! She holds two teaching credentials: General Elementary K-8 and Adult Education: Parent Education/ Child Study. She is author of the eBooks; The Art of Communicating with Infants and very Young Children and the Art of Listening To Children: The 10 Minute Miracle and Daddy, Why Are We Different. In addition, she wrote the column Listening 2 Children for the West Country Gazette for several years. At KGGV Radio in Guerneville CA, she hosted the Family Hour and Kids Hour. Since 2008 Sharon has been with Blog Talk Radio, hosting the Voice of Change. She is an EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) Practitioner, working with families to help them bring more joy, peace and fun into their lives. Sharon hosts a variety of parenting tele-classes, offers private parenting consultations and EFT session over the telephone or skype. She can be reached through her website:
www.SharonAnnWikoff.com which also contains her Blog: Raising Peaceful Children
or at 707 820. 4212.