Peacemakers in Training is a curriculum that parents, teachers and youth workers can use to teach children how to prevent and resolve conflict in a respectful and constructive manner. The curriculum emphasizes principles of confession, forgiveness, communication and character development, and uses realistic stories, practical applications, role plays and stimulating activities.
This detailed and comprehensive resource may be used in families, schools and youth groups.
Although the material is designed primarily for 3rd through 7th grades, it has been successfully used with preschool and high school students.
Twelve Key Principles for Young Peacemakers
- Conflict is a slippery slope.
- Conflict starts in the heart.
- Choices have consequences.
- Wise-way choices are better than my-way choices.
- The blame game makes conflict worse.
- Conflict is an opportunity.
- The Five A’s can resolve conflict.
- Forgiveness is a choice.
- It is never too late to start doing what’s right.
- Think before you speak.
- Respectful communication is more likely to be heard.
- A respectful appeal can prevent conflict.
The Slippery Slope
The Young Peacemaker uses a “slippery slope” diagram to help children understand the various responses to conflict. The slope is divided into three zones:
- The Escape Zone: Deny, Blame Game, and Run Away
- The Attack Zone:Put Downs, Gossip, Fight
- The Work-It-Out Zone:Overlook, Talk-It-Out, and Get Help
The Five A’s of Confession
Children, like adults, can learn to confess their wrongs in a way that demonstrates that they are taking full responsibility for their contribution to a conflict.
- Admit what you did wrong.
- Apologize for how your choice affected the other person.
- Accept the consequences.
- Ask for forgiveness.
- Alter your choice in the future.
Four Promises of Forgiveness
Children can learn to forgive one another the same way they would like to be forgiven, by making four key promises:
- I promise I will think good thoughts about you and do good to you.
- I promise I will not bring up this situation and use it against you.
- I promise I will not talk to others about what you did.
- I promise I will be friends with you again.
These promises may be summarized in a poem that is so easy a four-year old can memorize it:
- Good thought
- Hurt you not
- Gossip never
- Friends forever
Peacemakers in Training is may be obtained through the National Center for Youth Issues.
A faith-based version of this material, which is called The Young Peacemaker, as well as twelve student activity booklets, is available at the RW360 bookstore.