The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace. The theme of this year’s day is “Partnerships for Peace – Dignity for All” which highlights the importance of all segments of society to work together to strive for peace.
So I was thinking about ALL SEGMENTS OF SOCIETY and the role early care and education professionals can play in educating children about peace. Mahatma Gandhi said that, “if we are to have real peace in the world, we need to begin with children.” If children are purposefully taught the concepts of peace at a very young age, they will be more prepared to carry out their lives peacefully. Teaching young children about peace begins in a classroom environment full of trust, respect, and consideration for others – the key concepts of peace. How can you create such an environment? Start with the implementation of two simple rules 1) We use words to settle problems and 2) We are nice to everyone and everything. These rules help set a foundation for a teaching environment that reinforces and expects respect and consideration. As children are successful in meeting the expectations of the rules, a teacher’s positive feedback helps to reinforce the behavior of consideration and respect.
As we celebrate the International Day of Peace together let’s start with respecting our children’s ability to be the conduit for peace in our future.