Building Your Child's Peaceful Vocabulary

by Babs Hadjusiewicz January 24, 2014


Peaceful People

What do peaceful people do?
They use kind words.
They’re honest, too.
They don’t begin to fight or shout.
They talk to work a problem out.
Instead of acting mean or mad,
They talk to say they’re feeling sad.
They look for ways to help someone.
They don’t hurt others with a gun.
I like what peaceful people do.
I’m learning to be peaceful, too.

Copyright © 1999–2014 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz
from Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully. Copyright © 1999, 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz


Where and when and how does peace begin?

Today’s Activity Tip invites you and your child to be on the lookout for peaceful words you hear yourselves and others say. 

This tip is all about listening and speaking, skills that are crucial for all learning. Noticing and making sense of  words we hear is the first step toward speaking those words. And today, we'll focus on listening to and speaking peaceful words.

You can use this activity every day, wherever you are. If your child is not yet talking, the two of you can still have  powerful conversations about peace. You will simply ask and answer these two questions:

#1 Ask, "What kind words did you hear today?"

      Then listen to your child’s response.

      It’s helpful to follow up with words like, “So you heard these kind, peaceful words today: [words your child said]. WOW!”

      Go on to encourage your child to talk a bit about why those words felt peaceful to hear. For example, you might ask, “Who was with you?" or "How did you feel when you heard those words?”

      In time, your child may turn it around to ask you those same questions. And when the conversation seems ready for a change of direction, try asking this second question.

      #2 Ask, "What kind words did you say today?"

        Here again, you’ll want to listen to your child’s response. Then follow up with words like, “Wow! So you said these kind, peaceful words: [repeat the words your child said]? Wow!”

        Why double up your “Wow!” response? Because you're letting your child know how happy you feel to hear that she said those peaceful words to someone today.

        You might ask your child, “So how did it feel to say those peaceful words?”

        Notice this connecting kind of conversation the two of you have been having. And you now have a definitive answer to that earlier question about where peace begins. 

        Yes, peace does begin at home because your child will say whatever words get heard at home. Those kind, peaceful words are most likely to get repeated by your child when you've modeled them often. It’s that easy. Powerful tools to give to your child . . . and all free. So begin now (or continue) to speak peaceful words wherever you are. Your child is sure to notice. 


        Babs Hadjusiewicz
        Babs Hadjusiewicz


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