Raising Caring And Peaceable Children

raising childrenPeaceful in our world is an ideal condition in which world’s citizen can bring their life to more meaningful. The term of peace is also being a target for parents in raising their child. Caring and peaceable children are essential to build a global community for peace. People from all cultures are recognizing that “peace and caring” are essential to our survival as a human species.

A common goal for parents in raising caring and peaceable children is to promote the environmental and relationship fabric that foster and sustain caring and peaceable children. According to Swick (Kevin James Swick, an Instructor and Teacher Education from University of South Carolina, Columbia), there are six elements that are important to the shaping and continuing renewal of this goal.

  1. Valuing each person’s integrity. It is the basis for having a caring society. The priority goal must be to help children see themselves and others as special, and for its purpose children need adults to act with integrity. Children should be helped by adult to help them see human differences as sources of enrichment and empowerment. In this regard, Caldwell (1989) noted that the environment which was created by parents for children are the clearest signal of parent’s beliefs. Thus parent can begin by providing children with safe, secure, decent, loving, and just communities.

  2. Reaching out to each other in caring ways. It is also important to use in helping children and adults develop and refine their schema for caring and peace. A decent and caring society requires a sense of community that can best happen through open and sensitive relationships.

  3. Respecting and valuing human differences. It supports children’s development of healthy relationship with others. Children who are isolated from each other will miss opportunities to learn how to live in peaceable ways. Therefore, we need to engage children and ourselves in learning about people’s different cultures. One way to support this effort is to make children involve with people of various cultures in positive and sharing ways. I believe that young children are especially motivated to help each other, thus we need to capitalize on this interest with many learning experiences where they can make interaction with children of diverse cultures.

  4. Serve others in meaningful ways. Doing service for and with others strengthens everyone involved. Truly great societies are marked by their ability to reach out to each other through mutually enriching service. Interestingly, in infancy and toddlerhood Swick noted how very young children willing to help each other. This is especially observed by Brazelton and Greenspan in care settings where infants and toddlers have role models who are caring. Unfortunately, this early desire to serve is often left unattended. Therefore, we need to plan regular service activities so children and adults develop the spiritual core of caring and peaceable living. If every citizen contributed one hour of monthly television time into meaningful service there would be a dramatic move toward peace and caring.

  5. Build charitable habits. Building charitable habits into our daily lives is absolutely essential to create a lasting system that nurtures children and adults. Creating places where the universal values of decency and caring are happening in the lives of everyone is a necessity. Sapon-Shevin says the power of each teacher is seen in the impact they have on children’s lives. She says that it is unreasonable to expect students to be loving and supportive of each other if teacher puts down individual students or uses labeling or name calling.

  6. Develop a belief in the goodness of people. A faith in each other is what provides the basis for having a community of learning, trusting and growing people. In this particular case, adults can take the lead by engaging in acts of kindness. We must build communities where goodness is the mark of social and spiritual life most valued by all people.

It is clear that we must have peaceable, decent, and caring children. It must be our priority goal in early childhood education and in every community group. Let us never forget that early childhood presents once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to prepare young children’s brains for a lifetime of either harmony and peace or struggle and conflict. Let us seize these opportunities to enhance young children’s chances for joyful lives and provide the children in our care the kinds of homes and communities that will help them actualize their potential to the fullest (Swick & Freeman, 2004).

Best Regards

Reference: Kevin James Swick (2006), Families and Educators Together: Raising Caring and Peaceable Children. Early Childhood Education Journal, Vol.33, No.4.

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