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 book, the Editors shared that the book was a joyous journey and inspired from the truth in the words: “Children as Teacher 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 what the children wrote with the pictures here.
PEACE is telling the truth to your parents or anybody. Jeremy, age 8
PEACE is praying. Siobbain, age 6
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 sitting near the fire with a warm cat snuggled in your lap purring. Jennifer, age 9
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 the feeling knowing the sun will come out even while it’s raining. Judith, age 11
PEACE is loving someone smaller. Carey, age 9
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 the word PEACE up in the dictionary, some of the synonyms given were: harmony, calm, serenity and quiet.
I invite you to talk about these words with your children. Perhaps you can have them share their experience of these words, or have them act out what each means. Also, kids love to act out the opposite of such words. When they do this, it does help them to internalize what such words mean and what they do not mean!
NAMING PEACEFUL SITUATIONS:
When you and your children are in the midst of a peaceful experience, 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.
In our world today, children are exposed to so many situations which do not exhibit PEACE, we need to educate children about PEACE. Let them know what it is and to “name” such times. How can we expect children to want something that they are not familiar with in their daily life?
A PEACEFUL ACTIVITY:
Two days ago in response to my Blog on “YES” Environments, which are places where children can play independently with age-appropriate materials, Kim wrote about the wonderful library/reading space she created for her children. Her sharing reminded me of a poem I found years ago and have used in both my classrooms and homes.
A fun activity is to write this poem on a large poster board and have your children create a small picture to illustrate each line.
A POEM: READ
Read in the classroom.
Read at home.
Read a story. Read a poem.
Read while it’s raining.
Read in the sun.
Read to get your homework done.
Read on a park bench.
Read in a tree.
Read for a reason.
Read for none.
But best of all…
Read for Fun!!
Wishing you a lovely day of thanksgiving…and peacefulness,