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The Secret Weapon of Peace

By ParentStuf / Posted on 13 May 2015

There was a season in our family’s life when none of my kids were allowed to sit in the front passenger seat. They were old enough and big enough to sit there, but I just couldn’t take the arguing, racing, and fighting for one more second.

I had tried a few other tactics, like giving the front seat to the oldest child in the car or rotating who got a turn, but I was met with a lot of “That’s not fair” and “She sat there last time” talk from the back seat. When one of my children argued with me for five minutes, listing who sat in the front seat on every little trip we’d taken over the past month, I decided it was time to do something drastic.

No one was allowed to sit in the front. Ever again. Or at least until a whole lot of time had passed. And guess what? I got a little peace.

Last week, a great mom I know was making her boys drop and give her 10 push-ups every time they argued that week. It sounded pretty brilliant. It’s tough to argue when you’re out of breath—and, as a bonus, she’s helping them stay fit.

As parents, we come up with all kinds of ways to keep the peace. The arguing can truly drive you crazy. And sometimes our kids are so good at it that before we know it, we’re arguing right back.

As adults, we know what it feels like when there is tension with a relative or someone at work. That unrest and conflict can keep us up at night or cause us to put distance in a relationship we value. The damage can be long-term and destructive.

There’s a secret weapon when it comes to bringing peace to a stressful situation. It has the potential to transform the situation and take the fire out of the conflict. It’s a powerful tactic you can teach your children that will help them build healthy marriages in the future and lead strong teams as they grow up and go to work one day.

Humbly take the first step.

That’s it. It won’t resolve everything, and it won’t make right everything that’s wrong. But when you are willing to lay down your offense and take a step in the other person’s direction, it’s amazing how quickly you can bring a sense of peace to the situation.

When you humbly take the first step, you communicate:

  1. I’m willing to listen.
  2. I’m willing to negotiate.
  3. I’ll try to understand where you’re coming from.
  4. I value you.
  5. You are more important than winning.

 
Imagine if our children learned how to take steps toward making peace right now, while their issues are small and their conflicts less damaging. If your kids practice again and again in the safety of your families, following your lead, imagine the kinds of relationships they will have in the future. Imagine the kind of influence they could have as leaders if they are both humble and strong in their abilities to bring peace to stress-filled and overwhelming circumstances.

The Bible says, If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone (Romans 12:18). When we take ownership for the part that “depends on us,” it only seems right that we would humbly take the first step.

ideas4workingitout

How can you help your child learn the secret weapon of Peace? So glad you asked!

This month’s Take-Out is a great tool to help you teach your kids to work it out!

Hang this on your kids’ doors. Whenever you find them arguing, have them flip it to the “Working It Out” side and choose one of the ideas listed on the back of the Parent Card to help them work it out.

Peace out!

 
 

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