People Need Peace

What is Peace?

Peace is safety. Peace is non-violence. Peace is a feeling that no one will hurt your body or your feelings on purpose. With peace your rights are respected, your needs met. All people need peace.

Children Need Peace

Children need peace. Peace teaches children peaceful ways. This will help build a more peaceful world.

Picture Peace Places

How can we help provide peace for our children? Picture peace places where children feel safe. What does a child need in these space? Continue picturing and reading...

The Peaceful Womb

A child's first home is the womb. It is a peace place when...

  • There is good and healthy food.

  • The environment is calm and free from violence.

  • The child is wanted.

  • The environment is healthy: free from smoke, toxins and poisons.

  • The mom does not smoke, drink alcohol or take drugs because she does not want to give these to her baby.

  • The mom is at peace, so the peaceful rhythm of her heart is the first music to which the baby listens.

Birth as a Peaceful Passage

Each infant needs a peaceful place to be born. The mom and baby benefit when...

  • The mom and baby are surrounded by trusted and loved ones at birth. The birth space is comfortable.

  • The umbilical cord is cut only after it has stopped pulsing, unless it is medically necessary to cut it sooner for a safe birth.

  • The baby is placed on the mom's body, first on her belly, then by her breast, as soon as possible after the birth.

  • If the baby is a boy, remember, circumcision is not medically necessary.

The Peaceful Nursery

Babies feel the safety of peace when their needs are met. Here are some ways to help babies begin their lives peacefully.

  • If the mom is able to nurse or if bottle feeding, the baby should be fed lovingly and whenever hungry.

  • The baby is bathed, massaged, cuddled, rocked and sung to gently each day.

  • The sleeping baby is near caregivers at all times.

  • When the baby cries, attention is given for what is needed like feeding, diapers or holding.

  • The home is safe and secure, without screaming, mistreatment and violence.

  • The caregiver can get help or support when tired, sick or stressed.

The Peaceful Home

The home needs to be a peace zone! Children will learn what they see. Parents must show ways of peace and nonviolence. Here are some guidelines for raising peaceful children.

  • Never use corporal punishment. It hurts, scares and confuses kids. It teaches them that those who are bigger and stronger have a right to get what they want by hurting those who are smaller and weaker. Never spank, slap, smack, hit, shake or pull a child. Never deprive a child from getting food and water. Never stop a child from going to the bathroom. Never force a child to work when exhausted. Never keep a child from getting a good night's sleep. Never force a child to remain motionless. Never confine a child in a small space.

  • Listen to your children. Let them tell you how they feel and what they need. Respond in a caring way. You do not need to give them everything they ask for, but you can recognize their right to ask. Never shame or humiliate a child with mean words. Never call a child bad names. Never predict a bad life for a child. Never wish harm for a child. Never mock a child. Never scare or threaten a child with harm.

  • Never insult a child. Never call a child stupid. Never compare a child negatively to others. Never ignore or shut out a child with silence. Never treat a child as if she or he does not exist. Do not tell a child you wish he or she was dead, that you would be better off without him or her or that you never wanted him or her.

  • Try to give a healthy and balanced diet, filled with good, natural foods. Check for lead around where you live. Lead poisoning is dangerous. Have your child's lead levels tested if you suspect possible lead poisoning.

  • Seek medical treatment for accidents, including head injuries. Some brain injuries can lead to violent behavior.

  • Show your child love everyday. Play, play, play with your child. Laugh with your child. Read to your child. Hug your child. Tell your child, "I love you."

  • Set clear and safe limits for your child based on age.

  • Develop healthy habits and regular schedules, including enough sleep, daily exercise and relaxation.

  • A child needs love and support from the whole family: mom, dad, relatives, if possible, and from good friends. Allow a child to express love.

  • Wake a child in a kind and cheerful way. This will affect how the day starts!

  • Take an interest in and share activities. Let children explore and practice art, music, dance and sports. Teach them to swim. Try to limit violent entertainment. Help your children learn the difference between fantasy and reality. Talk about what you are seeing. Listen to each other's thoughts and feelings about it, too.

  • Read stories to your child about peace, honesty, justice and courage. Stories and reading can be better than television for the child's mental health.

  • Make sure your children are not exposed to and can never get to guns, explosives, alcohol or drugs. Remember, children need adult supervision.

  • Learn to settle your arguments with respect and peace.

  • Learn positive ways to express your anger.

  • Learn ways to calm down if you become too upset to be positive. Take a little time each day to get in touch with the peace in your heart.

  • Get help to heal from pain from your life so you do not pass it on to your children.

  • By your example and your words, teach your children to respect people from all walks of life.

  • Comfort your child when she or he is ill, hurt, sad, grieving, angry or scared.

  • Be patient with your child. It cannot be said enough -- be patient! Remember what it felt like when you were a child. Learn to motivate with the positive. Base your decisions on good judgment and cooperation rather than "because I said so." Share reasons why you have made your decisions. This will help a child's thinking and consideration.

  • Associate with good and peaceful people. Learn and share ways of peace with peaceful people.

  • Treat boys and girls equally. Help them to express their feelings so that they may get their needs met. Support children in being loving, compassionate, and strong.

  • Teach children about their feelings, body and sexuality. Help them learn to avoid abuse and abusive people. Teach children to use their own thinking brains.

  • Remember, sometimes children may not know why they are acting as they are. They may not always know or be able to tell you what they are feeling. It is your job to help them figure it out.

  • Respect that each child is unique and special. Value each child's ways.

  • Protect your child from abuse and violence. Never neglect your child.

  • Build trust with your child so that she or he will want to talk with you about what is happening. Support children, even when they make mistakes. Mistakes can help us grow. Look for and talk about the positive in every experience.

The Peaceful Community

What can you do in your community?

  • Build friendships and networks to make the community safe for all. Deal with the problems in your community: drugs, gangs, police brutality, neglect, abuse, racism, crime, corruption and unemployment.

  • Organize to stop violence. Organize to protect all the children.

  • Call the police if you see violence.

  • If there are gangs in the area, supervise children. Help children stay involved in learning, sports or other activities to avoid empty time that might lead them to gangs. Support your child in NOT picking gangs.

  • Talk to other parents for support.

  • Get involved in school. Protect your children from bullying. Get authorities involved to stop all bullying.

  • Encourage the schools to teach communication skills, peaceful ways to resolve conflict and negative feelings. Teach nonviolent parenting skills.

  • If you see an adult about to hit a child, speak up in a peaceful manner. Let the adult know there are better, nonviolent ways to raise a child. Let the child know you care about her or his feelings and rights.

  • Accept and respect people and their differences -- ethnic, religious, sexual, racial, gender, age and nationality.

The Peaceful World

What can you do for peace in the wider world?

  • Do whatever you can in the circles of your life, your home and your community to raise safe and peaceful children. Know that this is one of the best things you can do for peace in the world.

  • Take a stand against violence, injustice and war. Children feel better when they see their parents stand up for what is right.

  • Work with others for legal changes that will support peace, justice, human rights and the environment. Peace depends on us! And, the children depend on us!

  • Vote! Vote for those who will work for peace, justice and human rights.

  • Get informed; care, get involved. Act!
  • Parents are powerful. In the first moments, months and years of life, parents affect how children will grow up to feel about themselves and other people. These effects may last the rest of the children's lives.

  • Peaceful parents raise powerful children with a strong sense of self-worth. People with a strong sense of self-worth are peaceful and nonviolent. People with self-respect respect others and do not allow others to abuse them.

Copyright 2004

The Power of Peace is available as a 12-page booklet from Psychealth Ltd. Call (847) 864-4961.

Visit www.psychealthltd.htm

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