In the 1980’s I was working as the Children’s Director of Education at the West Valley Center for Spiritual Living in southern California. One of the books I purchased at that time and have used over the last 30 years is, Children As Teachers of Peace By Our Children, Edited by Gerald G. Jampolsky, M.D. author of Love is Letting Go of Fear.
This book has children’s art work in it as well as their words about PEACE. In the editor's introduction they described the book as a joyous journey and inspired from the truth in the words: “Children as Teachers of Peace”.
Following are some of the quotes from the children who wrote for this book. The images here are not from the book, however, I’ve attempted to capture the feeling nature of the art book in the book.
PEACE is working together to keep everything alive. John, age 11 ½
PEACE is two nations shaking hands and being friends forever. Lauren, age 12
PEACE is friends who get along and make up when they fight. Sari, age 10
PEACE is happiness when it rains and we see a rainbow. Arthur, age 6
Peace is having a toy,
Peace is feeling joy,
Peace is taking a run,
Peace if having fun,
Peace is feeling free,
Peace is you and me.
Darrell, age 12
PEACE is loving someone smaller. Carey, age 9
PEACE is the feeling knowing the sun will come out even while it’s raining. Judith, age 11
PEACE: It’s a Small World…with a Big Heart.
PEACE is a state of public calmness. Amy, age 10
PEACE is everything a person needs. It’s stillness, faith, calmness and love all together and that’s what I think peace is. Jesse, age 11
PEACE is something to cherish. But you must be careful with it. If you don’t, pretty soon there won’t be anyone to make peace with. Lori, age 11
RAISING PEACEFUL CHILDREN IN ACTION:
When I looked PEACE up in the dictionary, the best synonyms given were: harmony, calm, serenity and quiet. These might already by in your "Family Values" which I discussed in my blogs during the first week or two of July. If not, I invite you to talk about these words with your children. Perhaps you can have them share their experience with such words, or have them act out what harmony is, what calm is, etc.
And at the same time,
we can truly listen to our children,
giving them an opportunity to share
what is in their heart...
and learn from their wisdom!
Also, when you are in the midst of a Peaceful experience with the children, name it. Put such words to it as: peaceful, harmonious, calm, serene and quiet. In addition, have children draw pictures of what is PEACE to them.
STORY: My daughter's caterpillar turns into a butterfly!
Many years ago my oldest daughter found a caterpillar at school and brought him home. She knew the type of leaves it ate and brought those of it daily from school. Finally it spun it's cocoon. We waited and waited for it to come out. We had almost given up on it and then one day, Tami said, "The butterfly is here!" We were all so surprised and marveled at this gorgeous butterfly before us. We took him outside and put it in our flowers. The next morning it was still there. We put it on Tami and it crawled up her arm. Then it flew to a nearby tree. Next it appeared to take off! However, before it left, it actually flew around our yard three times! We all watched it's every move. It was such a PEACEFUL experience for us...one of such joy.
Children are wise beyond their years at times. I think my daughter had more faith than I that the caterpillar would turn into a butterfly.
Enjoy the process of living in PEACE...and bringing such experiences to your children.
Sharon Ann Wikoff holds two teaching credentials and is an EFT (Emotional Freedoms Techniques) Practitioner. She can be reached through her website: www.SharonAnnWikoff.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org