In the last newsletter we began exploring how to teach kids to be peacemakers, rather than peace breakers, with some tips from Focus on the Family.
Here are some more key principles that young peacemakers need to learn:
Conflict starts in the heart.
The choices we make to get our own way are deliberate. We decide whether to be obedient or disobedient, wise or foolish, caring or unloving.
Choices have consequences.
For good or bad, the choices we make will affect us and others. Conflict is often the consequence of a choice we have made.
Wise-way choices are better than my-way choices.
Selfishness is not smart and will not lead to happiness. The wise way is to obey authority, make right choices, seek wise advice and respect others.
The blame game makes conflict worse.
It doesn’t work to point the finger at someone else, cover up one’s own bad choices or make excuses.
Conflict is an opportunity.
Conflict is not necessarily bad or destructive. Even when conflict is caused by wrong-doing and causes a great deal of stress, it can lead to good. By handling it right we get a chance to serve others and become better people. Therefore, it is wise to step back from a conflict and ask yourself whether you are doing all you can to take advantage of these special opportunities.
The “Five A’s” can resolve conflict.
Children, like adults, can learn to confess their wrongs in a way that demonstrates they are taking full responsibility for their part in a conflict. These simple steps will almost always lead to peace:
- Admit what you did wrong. Include both wrong desires and bad choices.
- Apologize for how your choice affected the other person. Express the sorrow you feel.
- Accept the consequences for your wrongdoing without argument or excuses.
- Ask for forgiveness.
- Alter your choice in the future. Think over and plan how you are going to act differently next time.
Learning to be a peacemaker can be challenging, but the results are worth it. In the next newsfeed I’ll share some final tips for helping kids (and adults!) resolve conflict.