How to Nurture a Peaceful Child!
Picture a peaceful nine-year-old child, kind and giving, passionate and joyful, and mostly in control of his or her emotions. Is this some alien species? Or is it possible to nurture peaceful children in our highly competitive, cynical and polarized society?
Research tells us that educating the emotions, teaching self-control, has a wider impact than preventing violence. Look at the widespread anti-bullying programs in place across our country today. And yet, mean-spirited, demeaning behavior persists in elementary schools and beyond.
Surround your child with a caring community of adults who model emotional competence. Gently but firmly set the boundaries for your child’s behavior to provide both physical and emotional security. When you lose your temper with your child out of frustration or exhaustion, apologize. Explain your feelings and actions to help your children recognize and accept their own mistakes, to understand that no one is perfect, no one is superior.
Stop calling your children good or bad. A child labeled good is only good in relation to someone else’s being bad. Labeling encourages children to invest in keeping others bad to ensure superiority. It perpetuates a cycle of judgment and blame and discourages cooperation.
Build your child’s self-confidence and empathy by supporting him in moments of personal crisis and demonstrating that helping others is as important as superior grades or winning the game. Each step you demonstrate toward cooperation and compassion is a step toward developing a peaceful child.
Head of School
West Side Montessori is an independent, accredited Montessori school educating children 13 months through 8th grade (preschool, kindergarten, elementary and middle school) with locations at 13587 Roachton Rd in Perrysburg, Ohio, and 7115 W. Bancroft Street in Toledo, Ohio.