Conflict occurs every day to some varying degree in aspects of our lives. In order to successfully navigate through conflict, we must efficiently practice peacemaking. However, that is not a natural instinct — peacemaking is a skill which we must learn.
Finding strategies and openly sharing them will help you mold your children into successful peacemakers. Communicating your experiences and examples with your children will help to teach them the importance of peacemaking; this helps them understand the causes of conflict, and more importantly how to resolve differences peacefully. Through active times of teaching, modeling appropriate behavior, and giving them plenty of social interaction to practice and develop their skills, you will prepare them for successful relationships.
What else can you do?
Take part in various activities and organized events centered on the theme of “peace” or do some of your own activities. Some can include:
- Offer a toast for peace at dinner, light some candles
- Plant a flower or tree
- Enjoy a walk and point out where you see peaceful things or actions happening
Thursday, May 16, 2013 is “Wear Purple for Peace” at Childventures. Celebrate this peaceful day by dressing the part to show your support. Whether you participate with your nails, makeup, outfit, or accessories, allow others to be intrigued by the abundance of purple and bring awareness to the need for peace.
Make time for creative play.
Young children need plenty of time for unstructured, creative play. Research indicates that make-believe social play in particular reduces aggression and increases empathy in children.
Choose children’s toys carefully
Avoid those that encourage or glorify violence or competition.
Engage children’s hands and hearts
Young children need direct, hands-on experiences of giving. They love exploring and creating things regardless of how small or large. Allow them time to create their own cards, tree ornaments, pictures, baked goods etc. for neighbors, family, or friends. Doing these types of activities helps them to see the value in simple things that make others happy by simple little gestures.