Imagine a day in your family’s life without blaming and arguing. No pouting, whimpering, or throwing a tantrum! How about a day free from grabbing, name-calling, or teasing? It’s possible!
Growing up carries a certain amount of selfishness. Children have a difficult time understanding how someone else feels, and so “I want it MY way!” is often the ONLY way! Home can seem like a battle zone when disagreements heat up tempers!
Creating harmony in your family can be challenging, but is always worthwhile. Start with yourself and build your household serenity by modeling how to stay calm.
Sometimes it’s difficult, but take some deep breaths and listen more than you talk. Show your child that you respect his or her thoughts and feelings, even if you don’t agree with them. Explain to your child that other people may think and feel differently. The more you talk together as a family about situations and how to resolve conflicts, the better equipped your child will be when away from you.
A good day to start some new family habits is on September 21, International Peace Day. This is a world-wide day for recognizing peace, beginning with children. Find ideas on how to celebrate the day at http://www.internationaldayofpeace.org. Fold an origami peace dove, make a peace pinwheel, or plant a peace rock. (Directions are on the website.) And make sure to read books together that give your child ideas on how to live a peaceful life!
• For young children, Suzanne Bloom’s bear and goose characters overcome their differences and find ways to be friends in her books “A Splendid Friend, Indeed” and “What About Bear?” The richly colored illustrations have just a few words per page, but the story of a peaceful friendship is strong.
• For older children, the classroom provides many opportunities to practice getting along with others. In “Peace Week in Miss Fox’s Class” by Eileen Spinelli, illustrated by Anne Kennedy, the students in one classroom at school all agree to spend one week being nice. No fighting or saying mean things allowed! Time after time the students forget and say rude things to each other, but in each case, they eventually remember to not jump to conclusions and to compromise.
• “The Recess Queen” by Alexis O’Neill, illustrated by Laura Huliska-Beith, is a book you’ll want to read to yourself first, to see if it is one you want to share with your child. The main character, Mean Jean, is a real bully at school. She always gets her way, wins at every game, and dominates the playground. (To me, she’s a little scary!) But, the story has a great heroine, the new kid, Katie Sue. Although she is small, Katie Sue stands up to Mean Jean and even finds a way that they can be friends.
One response to “A Peaceful Household Can Start with Read-Aloud”
A reader sent some titles of her favorite children’s books about peace. Thanks to E. Snyder for sharing!
“The Sandwich Swap” by Queen Rania Al Abdullah
“Houses and Homes” by Ann Morris
“Peace is You and Me” by Florence Weiner
“Duck in the Gun” by Joy Cowley
“The King, The Mice, and the Cheese” by Nancy Gurney
“Peace Begins with You” by Katherine Scheles
“Building Blocks for Peace” by Margaret E. Comstock
“The Knight and the Dragon” by Tomie dePaola
“The Big Book for Peace” ed. By Ann Durell and Marilyn Sachs