Every Monday at the end of our work morning, our class gathers together for a peace circle. Throughout the year, we learn how to be peaceful within ourselves, with others, and with nature. Teaching peace to young children is the cornerstone of the Montessori curriculum and it is one that can easily be taught in the home as well. How might a parent promote and teach peace to their children? There are many ways to do so! Here are a few suggestions:
1. Be a good role model: Children are incredible observers of adult behavior as we all well know! By being mindful of the example you are setting, you can indirectly teach your child how to handle conflicts and stress in peaceful ways. Make a point to use polite language and manners, show compassion and respect for family, friends, and strangers, and demonstrate ways to resolve disagreement s in peaceful ways.
2. Talk about peace: Take the time to discuss with your child what they think peace might mean and share with your child your ideas. It’s amazing to hear what young children have to say on this topic.
3. Teach and practice conflict resolution skills: As a family, discuss ways that you can resolve disagreements in a peaceful way. By establishing a family meeting time once a week you provide a great way for family members to discuss problems in a calm, positive way.
4. Create a peace corner in your home: With the help of your child, create a special place in your home where anyone can go if they are feeling frustrated, upset or sad to calm down and find peace. Brainstorm with your child what items should go in your peace corner. Suggestions include: a soft pillow or blanket, quiet music, peaceful books or artwork, items from nature, and calming activities like coloring and drawing.