Promoting Peacemakers Amidst Political Turmoil – Strategies for Talking to Children

How do we Promote Building Tomorrow’s Peacemakers

Peacemakers“Respect for self, others and the world; each of us is an ambassador of peace.” – Core Value Statement of The Montessori School

What do we tell the children?” It’s a quote making waves through print and televised media, social media, and in conversations in the home, among friends, families and teachers. Whether the question is prompted from the perspective of a battle lost, or as a reaction for the divide that has gripped portions of the nation doesn’t matter perhaps, as much as the root question itself. And what of the equally important question: How do we encourage tomorrow’s peacemakers?

Before we Make Peacemakers, We Need to Make Peace by Offering Thoughtful Answers

Before we answer either question posed above, we have a responsibility to formulate a response that is thoughtful, appropriate and addresses the specific needs of each child. Here at The Montessori School, we continue to do this – in meeting with our 6th graders today, we wanted to make sure to provide them with the opportunity to process any feelings, emotions and thoughts they had regarding the election process, results and events following.

Together, we discussed the concepts of winning versus losing, and the appropriate (and conversely inappropriate) responses to both. We watched President Obama’s speech in which he called for unity and a smooth transition of leadership – most apropos on Veteran’s Day. As a group we reflected on how he responded in the face of his own emotions, and those of the nation, as the leader of all Americans.

How do we Promote Building Tomorrow’s Peacemakers

The experience reminded us as educators and students of the core values we practice daily here at TMS: Respect for self, others and the world; each of us is an ambassador of peace. We are united in a mission to build future peacemakers. In the spirit of unity and healing, we offer the following ideas for you to consider when answering the question of what to tell your children:

  • Be a listening ear – you don’t necessarily have to bring up the topic, especially for young children who may not comprehend – but do make it clear you are available to answer any questions or address any fears they might have.
  • Remind them they are safe – that no matter what, you will protect them to the best of your ability, as will others who care about them.
  • Help dispel fearful ideas – as you know, children have heard all manner of fearful information – from being separated from family members, to “bad people” taking over the country, and individuals being right or wrong based on their beliefs. You can be a voice of comfort and reassurance. Explaining what it means to be in a democratic society (in age-appropriate situations) can be helpful, as can dispelling thoughts and ideas that you know your child finds frightening.
  • Keep Educating – reinforce the value and beauty of learning about and embracing different cultures and belief systems, and how coming together can promote peace, understanding and enrichment for all.
  • Stay in the moment – you know your child better than anyone. Remember the value of living in the moment – of enjoying each and every minute you spend with your child – share this concept with them and remind them that together, you’ll take things one day at a time.

We believe that our core values are what unite us here at TMS and also in our service to you and your children. Thank you for entrusting us with them as we pursue our commitment to bring students of all backgrounds together in dedication to raising the peacemakers of tomorrow.

If you have questions about our continued mission to address current events regarding the election outcome, or about our school in general, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Warmly,
TMS Staff

 

Related Tags: Peacemakers | Promoting Peacemakers