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September 16, 2016

Digging Deeper: Raising Non-Violent Children in a Violent World

By Rev. Kate Epperly

As I began to think about what to write in this third in a series of blogs on children and violence I found myself struggling to embrace the difference between the way my husband and I raised our son, Matt, and the way my husband and I are helping Matt and his spouse raise their two boys (4 and 6 years old). I have to honestly confess in my sharing with my readers today that what we did to raise our one and only son in a non-violent way doesn’t seem to be possible to do with our two grandsons. Sibling rivalry complicates things mightily, doesn’t it?

The important thing is that we who care for children realize that the roots of violence and non-violence are laid at an early age. As I mentioned in my last blog, if we want our children to learn to get a grip on their emotions and respond to aggression, fear, grief and loss in a creative and peace-full way it is up to us to model it ourselves and patiently (and at times, firmly) attend to their learning of self-regulating, empathetic and compassionate life skills in some sort of consistent way appropriate to their level of development.

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