What Peace, What Children??

Posted on April 30, 2013

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Peace talk time, and this month the focus is on how we can teach Peace to children.

This one had me perplexed for a while and then I thought – I would teach them that when Mommy holds up two fingers in the form of the Peace symbol, it means they have to be quiet for 5 minutes.  If Mommy needs to do that a second time, it indicates that a time out is in order.  If a third show of fingers is needed, well, then it’s bedtime.  End of story!

Now, for the record, you might be very happy to know that I do not have children.  I love them dearly, and really enjoy the company of children, but – I won’t be birthin no babies!!

Peace and play have the same meaning for me when it comes to hanging out with the under 5 crowd.  That said, I don’t imagine myself saying things like “isn’t this peaceful sweetie”? I do believe that doing nothing but play with small children is in fact quite peaceful – for me.  For them it’s a natural state – something they do at any given opportunity.  And although they can’t articulate it, I’m sure those playful moments are when they are very much at Peace.  But once again, it’s just a natural state of being, so What Peace?

Anyway, I have much respect for people who dedicate their working careers to the development / betterment of children, and I happen to have an “in” with someone who I very much admire for the work she does.

My Sister gave up a career in corporate-dome and went back to school to get a degree in order to work with children.  She is a Child and Youth Advocate and currently works for the Toronto District School Board.

She works in a class with kids – all boys (ages 11 – 13) who have been labeled as needing “Special Ed” because they have “Behavioral” issues, including, but not limited to, “Learning Disabilities”.  We all know that labels suck and can lower ones’ self esteem, so it’s not a hard stretch to imagine that this is a group of boys who are on the cusp of choosing paths that may lead to increased or reduced “lightness” of being.

Now I get to hear about some of the very interesting occurrences that take place in her classroom.  And I must tell you, she’s a Saint.  That’s a job I’m not sure I’d be cut out for.

Anyway, when I posed the question about how one would teach Peace to children, she went away, thought about it for a moment and then decided that with her “Special Needs” group, she would (and plans to) teach Peace as a Social / Life Skills exercise.

What she is planning to do is Post Sayings – in the form of acronyms, in the classroom.

Her intent is twofold:

1)  To teach these young men in the making about Self Esteem and Personal Growth

2)  To teach them about how to find Peace within themselves, and around and for others.

Her plan is quite simple really, and will be taught in a manner that may hold the Boys’ attention for a few moments.  I think if her classroom went a half or a full day without any stress-ridden situations, they’d start to understand Peace, so I really hope her plan will work.

The words – Finding Peace:

Put on some music.  Put pen to paper.  Put colour to canvas. Place your arm supportively around a shoulder.  Pass a tissue.

Ease a mind!  Ease YOUR mind!

Ask yourself, “Did I handle that alright? Am I able to move on from this?

Close your eyes.  Calm down.  Carrying this anger around will never help you heal. Continue learning, growing and know,

Everything is going to be alright!

The words – Self Esteem:

Plant your dreams firmly in your heart and mind and allow them to grow. Never let them go.

Everyone is a someone.

Accept and acknowledge this fact.

Care about this world, it’s going to be your responsibility one day.

Everyday starts with the potential to be fantastic, do whatever it takes to make sure that it is!

This is just the beginning, she is also going to ask the boys to contribute to these acronyms, using the letters PEACE.  She has also promised to take a picture of the classroom once the walls are plastered in PEACE, and this I promise to share with all.

I’m rooting for her with this one.  I really would like to hear, that one beautiful day was held and perhaps even noticed by all!

Much Love,

Sandy (and Sue)

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