A peaceful way to encourage literacy = a literate way to encourage peace.

by Babs Hadjusiewicz June 12, 2009

Hey, it's Free-for-All Friday. (Sorry! I posted this last night, or so I thought. Guess it got delayed somewhere on the spinning globe of cyberpace.) So let's do a take-off today on one of those What if...ideas from yesterday's discussion. Okay. What if...what if there were peaceful people everywhere? WOW! What a peaceful thought! WOW! What a peaceful world we could have! 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 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz from Peaceful Me: Poems and Activities to Help Children Resolve Conflicts Peacefully. Copyright © 1999, 2002 Babs Bell Hajdusiewicz [caption id="attachment_722" align="alignleft" width="223" caption="Peaceful Me is endorsed by Sarah Brady, Chair, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Washington D.C."]Peaceful Me is endorsed by Sarah Brady, Chair, Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, Washington D.C.[/caption] So, where does peace begin? Hmmm. Regardless how one might answer that question, today's Parenting 4 Literacy tip (for kids of all ages!) offers to you and your child some nutritious food...as in peacefully powerful words...for thought and TALK. Yes! For kids of all ages! And today's tip also builds on your child's LISTENing skills. Those listening skills are critical for success in reading and writing...and for all of learning! So here's what you do...as one way to help peace live in your home! WOW! Ask your child today...and every day...two questions:
  • Question #1: What kind words did you hear today?
Then listen to your child's response. A tip: It's helpful with any age child to follow up with words like, "So you heard these peaceful words today: [words your child said]. WOW!" Then go on to encourage your child to talk a bit about why those words felt peaceful to her/him. To do this, you might ask, "How did it feel to hear those words?" I should mention here that your child may turn it around to pose to you that same question. WOW! Or, depending on your child's age and mood, it may take several days of your modeling before you're put in the witness chair. Either way, when this same conversation seems ripe for new input, go on to ask the second question.
  • Question #2: What kind words did you say today?
Again, you'll want to listen carefully to your child's response so you can follow up with words like, "WOW! So you said these peaceful words...[repeat the words your child said]. WOW!" Peaceful Tip: That double "WOW!" there? It lets your child hear how happy you feel to hear that s/he spoke such peaceful words today. Be at peace!Now ask, "How did it feel to say those peaceful words?" Gosh, just look at all the productive conversation the two of you are having! WOW! No more of those going-nowhere attempts to communicate with your school-age child, including your high schooler. Yes, you'll recognize this all-too-familiar parent-child Q&A: "So what happened at school today?" "Nothing." Yes! Productive conversation is now happening in your house. And guess what? You now have a definitive answer to my earlier question: Stop! It's a garage sale!"So," I asked you. "Where does peace begin?" And now you know! WOW! Peace begins in your home! And, with daily peaceful practice of this particular Parenting 4 Literacy tip, peace will not only live in your home; it will extend far beyond. Yes! Peaceful words will be heard and spoken wherever you and your child are! WOW! Double WOW! With repeated practice, extend this activity to ask your child...and yourself...how the other person might have felt when saying or hearing you say those peaceful words. By the way...if your child is not yet talking, you two can have this same powerfully-peaceful conversation! I know you'll recall my recent tip to ask and answer your questions. Your child is always LISTENing...and learning how language works! Hey, tune in on Funday Monday for some garage sale fun! I hope to find time to check out a few garages in my neighborhood by then. Anyone else love shopping at garage sales? I picked up that interest during my childhood. How about you? Click on the word comment below this post...and tell all!

Babs Hadjusiewicz
Babs Hadjusiewicz


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