Teaching Peace and Kindness
My name is Stephanie A. and I am a Montessorian and a mother to two little boys. As a parent I often wonder how I can help my children feel safe and cared for. Especially in the world we live in today. The violence, hate, and peer pressure/bullying we hear about on the news is always in the forefront of my mind. As a Montessori teacher, I know there are ways to help children cultivate empathy, kindness, and gratitude. I believe Pajamas for peace is a great way to start the conversation about peace at home. It is a way for you to give back and show your children through actions what it means to be a contributing member of their community.
Montessori lessons on peace are to help children get a wide view of the world and appreciate the diversity in others. We accomplish this by being direct and also indirect. We talk about peace frequently. We try to describe what peace looks like and what they as children can do to be peacekeepers. Most importantly, we MODEL! Modeling is one of the major focuses as an educator. Through our words, our tone, our actions, we show children what it means to be peaceful. It is a great way to create constant learning opportunities.
Here are some great ways to begin the journey of peace education:
- Learning about the world through geography- learning about countries via biomes and not political boundaries.
- Learning about different cultures around the world. How people meet their physical needs, such as food, shelter, defense, and transportation, as well as spiritual needs like art and religion. They learn to not just tolerate other cultures, but to embrace them.
- We give them tools and skills to resolve conflicts. Giving them words and actions to express their feelings and teaching them to be good listeners. We help them learn self-calming activities, such as breathing exercises, yoga, and meditation.
- Time. Our environments are not structured. Therefore, if there is a conflict that needs the teacher’s attention, there is time for the teacher to stop and address it properly and with FULL attention.
- Lastly, giving back. We encourage children to give back to the community and work together. Charity works, such as, collecting food and supplies for animal shelters, or food banks. Make and sell baked goods to benefit a cause the children believe in. Gives children an understanding of the importance of volunteering and contributing to others.
I try as a parent to model these behaviors for my children. I make sure to use every opportunity as a teachable moment and help my children to become peaceful members of society. Pajamas for peace’s mission to bring comfort to children and families while promoting peace is an incredible way to make a difference in our children’s lives! Hopefully, their future will not have to deal with all the scary and tumultuous issues we face today because of it.