With so much conflict going on in the world around us, many parents worry about the future that awaits their children as they grow to adulthood and take their places as citizens of this planet. We all profess to want Peace but it sometimes seems unattainable when you watch the nightly news. We see nations grandstanding and threatening each other on practically a weekly basis and Peace in the future may seem impossible. International Peace Day is coming up on 21st September, but listening to the news you could be forgiven for thinking that Peace is a long way away.
There’s a little Yoga prayer that points the way to Peace, it goes like this:
“Peace in our hearts,
Peace in our homes,
Peace in our communities,
Peace in our world”
These are great sentiments and the clue is in the first two lines – Peace in our hearts, peace in our homes.
As parents, we are the main role models for our children – they learn by watching and copying us. Our children learn to deal with conflict at home – usually by arguing with siblings and parents. How we handle this conflict as parents determines how our children will learn to handle conflict in the future.
None of us is perfect and parents nowadays have busier lives than ever. However, taking the time to respond thoughtfully and respectfully during disagreements is vital to ensure that our kids learn how to deal with anger and disappointment in a constructive manner. There’s nothing wrong with disagreements, we all have them – it’s how we behave during a disagreement that carries weight.
When conflict raises its head in the family home (as it does so often) we, as parents, need to respond to the kids in a calm and measured way. If we get angry, we’re teaching the kids to get angry. If we shout, we’re teaching them to shout back and if we slap, we’re teaching them that disagreement should be met with violence. Our own behaviour as parents is so important here.
If we want to make a better world for our children, then we need to teach them to be the sort of adults who will make a better world. Teaching our kids to deal constructively and effectively with disagreements, teaching them to share, to compromise, to think of others is absolutely essential if we want to see World Peace in their lifetime.