As the Jamaican society grapples with the increasing levels of violence of all forms, some thoughts must be given to a framework in which every child can be developed in a mode of peace and security.
While it is a fact that far too many teenagers are giving birth to a new generation of children, there has to be a multidisciplinary approach to assist these young, inexperienced mothers to raise healthy, contented and peaceful children of both sexes.
A 2008 calendar of the Scotia Bank Group featured children in all their varieties, representing the 12 months of the year.
The October 2008 page of this beautiful calendar portrays a rather angelic, bright-eyed little girl who was chosen to exemplify the wise words of Quincy Jones, who said: "Peace is possible around the world and children are the answer."
In order to ensure that all our children are socialised in a peaceful mode, the suggested approaches detailed in a pamphlet called 'The Power of Peace', written by Mitch Hall and Madeline Y. Gomez, Ph.D., offer some sound advice for raising peaceful children.
These writers propose that peace is safety, non-violence and a feeling that no one will hurt our body or our feelings on purpose. In other words, a peaceful existence is a guarantee that our rights will be respected at all times.
The main planks on which a peaceful child is nurtured and developed are:
A peaceful womb, in which the unborn is nourished, kept calm and secured in the knowledge that he or she is wanted. This is also an environment that is not polluted by smoke, toxins and other poisons.
Every child should enter the world in a birthing place in which the mother can deliver her child in comfort, surrounded by those she trusts and loves; every child deserves a safe entry into the world.
From the birthing room, children should be moved to a peaceful and secure nursery in which their developmental needs are met.
Also, children deserve to be raised in peaceful homes, free of all forms of violence, including corporal punishment, harsh, insulting words and any animosity between adults and older siblings.
Such a home is one in which children are seen and heard, without feelings of humiliation, in an atmosphere of love and trust.
When the home is able to rear peaceful children, we will have communities in which we build friendships and positive networks. We would, therefore, produce spaces not overtaken by criminal gangs, drug barons and individuals who neglect and abuse children, women and the elderly.
Within peaceful communities, schools would be violence free because all of our children would learn to communicate, negotiate, tolerate, understand and care for self and others.
When peaceful communities come together, we can envision a peaceful world.
Our children deserve to be raised in peaceful environments, which are full of love, instead of those filled with hatred, greed, violence and discrimination, based on gender, ethnicity, race and class.
Our children need peace now, not tomorrow.
Glenda P. Simms is a gender expert and consultant.
To read "The Power of Peace" online, click here. To order free copies of this 12-page booklet, email firstname.lastname@example.org specifying title and poviding snail-mail address, or call Psychealth Ltd. at (847) 864-4961.
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