There are many forms and layers of peace. To think about what peace is and how it can be practiced means analyzing possibilities for its application. The Peace Flower diagram provides a simple, concrete framework upon which teachers and parents can focus on.
The Montessori Peace Flower- The Four States of Peace Awareness:
Community Awareness - An awareness of other people in the community and the nature of relationships we have with people, especially people with whom we interact every day. Community radiates out from each individual to include family, other students, teachers, school staff, neighbors, shopkeepers, etc.
Environmental Awareness - An awareness of what the earth needs to stay healthy and how individuals, communities, and cultures treat the earth.
Cultural Awareness - An awareness and appreciation of the differences in people’s attitudes, beliefs, practices, customs, and social behavior.
In Early Childhood, we spend a significant amount of time on the first petal of Self Awareness. We want to help identify and name all of the various feelings the child will have, and help them know that all feelings are okay and give them tools to process their feelings in a healthy way. Continuing to move outward, we want to show them what appropriate actions they can do with these feelings. We then want the child to begin to contemplate and meditate upon their actions before they are performed.
While concentrating on the first petal of self awareness, our overall goal is to help the child move from a less egocentric state to one of community, environmental, and ultimately cultural awareness.
(We were inspired to make these breathing and counting beads from a camp our son attended at Yogapeutics, a positive and fun aerial yoga class that incorporates mindfulness and sensory integration. Check out their awesome weekly classes and camps!)
Then we breathed in as we slowly moved one bead to the other end of the pipe cleaner, matching movement and breath.
On the exhale, we moved another bead.
We repeated for the remaining beads and then moved the beads back, one by one, to the beginning.
You can also use the breathing beads for encouraging longer breaths by counting to 4 beads per inhale and 4 beads per exhale.
"Sing with my mommy"
"Give lots of hugs and give presents"
"We give presents to kids who don't have any presents"
"Hug my brother"
"Smile and be nice"
Fold the tissue paper into rectangles.
Twist a pipe cleaner stem onto the middle.
Trim of the edges so they are rounded.
Carefully separate the tissue paper into beautiful flower petals.
A basket containing the peace flower is made available to the children at all times. When a conflict arises one child will get the Peace Flower. While holding the Peace Flower the child can express what they did not like or how they feel to the other child. When they are done they pass the flower to the other child.
Respect for the other persons turn to talk is stressed. The children are encouraged to use “I” words such as “I didn’t like it when you hit me”. We use kind language when holding the Peace Flower.
When the two children reach a solution or simply get over their difficulty they put their hands on the flower and say, ‘we declare peace’, or ‘friends’.
The Positive Classroom
Here are some of the words that might express your Needs:
Here are some words for feelings when your Needs aren’t met:
The Heart of Parenting: Nonviolent Communication in Action
Light a candle for love
Light a candle that shines all the way around the world
Light a candle for me
Light a candle for you
That our wish for world peace
Will one day come true!"
To learn more about Dr. Emoto's work check out the Emoto Peace Project.
How does your family practice peace? Let us know in the comments below!