- Recognize children’s peacemaking abilities.
Recognize when a youngster settles a disagreement, solves an issue, or expresses an emotion clearly. All of them are necessary components of peacemaking. When we notice and describe these activities, we teach children to understand and respect their own capacity for peacemaking: “Wow, Maria thought out a way for you all to share these blocks and work together. She has demonstrated exceptional problem-solving abilities.”
- Make room for peace.
Making peace is difficult, especially for grownups. You may allocate space in the classroom and utilize easily available things to encourage young children in peacemaking both in the moment and as a long-term foundation of the classroom community. A peace nook or table, for example, may be used for children to sort out disagreements with their friends, and peace puppets can help youngsters play out their emotions. Introduce and practice utilizing a peace-related place and items with the youngsters. Children can eventually take ownership of dealing with challenges utilizing these resources.
- Model and brand your own peacemaking abilities.
Children look to us as educators and caregivers to be role models for peacemaking. Remember to go through your own feelings and identify them for youngsters to hear while demonstrating constructive problem-solving. “I, too, am feeling annoyed and a little overwhelmed right now,” say to the kids. I’m going to try to calm my body and mind by taking a few deep breaths.”
- Watch, listen and learn
When children display strong emotions, it is critical to pay close attention and allow them to teach us about what they are feeling. Tuning in with complete awareness might assist us in making sense of major emotions as they arise: What is causing this youngster to feel this way? What information do we have about the kid (at school and home)? We demonstrate to children that we regard and respect their feelings when we exercise attentive listening: “I notice you’re upset. I’m curious as to why—will you tell me?”
- Respect the whole child
Positive peacemaking for the entire kid necessitates respect in all aspects of the school environment. Take a look around your classroom and consider the following questions:
- How does each youngster maneuver via the design, space, and materials?
- What difficulties does each youngster face? Are these obstacles developmental in nature?
- What design adjustments can I make to assist each kid in navigating and learning with and from their surroundings?
- Celebrate positive stories and distribute books about peace.
Throughout the day, explain the classroom’s accomplishments and anticipate how children will continue to form strong bonds and engage successfully: “I’d want to tell you about my favorite part of lunch today.” Will volunteered to assist James as I spotted him struggling to open his container. James grinned as Will opened the container. I could see he was grateful to have such a good buddy. I know I’ll continue to see you caring for one another, helping one another out, and saying thank you, and it’s amazing to witness.”
Rose .A. Milani,
Parent Coach and Registered Mental Health Counsellor
Based in Melbourne, Australia