Modeling Peaceful Behavior!
“Let There Be Peace on Earth” is a song written by Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller in 1955 for a children’s choir. Today, children and adults world-wide embrace and perform the song in many contexts. Its message is universal; each individual has the power to create peace and harmony within him or herself.
Modeling peaceful behavior for children, listening deeply, discussing fairly, demonstrating empathy are possible when parents are able to step outside their own fears and prejudices and put themselves in the other’s shoes. It is the only effective way to teach peace. Children know instinctively when parents’ directives to “be nice” are not in sync with argumentative, closed-minded behavior observed in the adults around them. Instead, they internalize conflict as the way to approach life.
When parents openly discuss age-appropriate issues and options they respect their children’s intelligence and encourage their thoughtful behavior. And, equally important, when parents admit their mistakes to children it demonstrates that we all fail at perfection although we strive to be good people.
In the end, emerging young adults choose to accept or reject their parents’ values and beliefs. The most powerful tool parents can give their children in today’s confrontational and polarized world is the confidence to trust their own judgement, make good decisions, and build healthy relationships.
(Middle School students organized a moment of silence to honor the lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.)
Our children are our hope for the future. They will be hopeful, empowered to create a more peaceful world if we demonstrate it is possible in our own lives. “Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.”
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.