10 reasons kids need to be peacemakers

Being a peacemaker has the potential to change a child’s life, and the lives of those around them. The great news is, any child of any age can learn the skills required to be a peacemaker. Here at PeaceWiseKids, we’re all about helping kids to understand conflict, identify it in their relationships at home, with friends or at school and how to deal with it. Here’s why it’s so important to become a peacemaker.

1. The world is full of conflict

Strong, healthy relationships are what we all hope for, but conflict is rife in the world! With the right strategies, kids can become peacemakers, and that will set them up to make a difference in the world.

2. We generally don’t know how to handle conflict

Widely speaking, we all need some help with understanding and dealing with conflict, and usually we handle it badly by avoiding the situation, escaping it or getting aggressive towards the other person.

3. Conflict causes pain

Conflict can cause kids great pain and suffering – social exclusion, anxiety, depression, lack of sleep, poor school performance, tension in friendships and family plus more.

4. Essential skills don’t always come naturally

Learning healthy ways to handle challenging relationships doesn’t always come naturally to many kids (or adults for that matter!), so becoming a peacemaker early in life is a great way to learn a ‘meta-skill’ that will have long-term positive effects.

5. It is possible to learn healthy ways to respond to conflict

The great news is that there are strategies that work. Here at PeaceWiseKids, that’s exactly what were’ out to do – help your kids understand understand what conflict is, identify it in their relationships, and then learn how to deal with them effectively.

“Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.

6. Peacemakers build stronger friendships

With greater understanding of conflict, how to deal with it, and an understanding of the peacemaking strategies required, children learn to become adults who forge stronger relationships that can face difficulties and hardships and still remain strong because it’s approached the right way, with peace and love for each other at the centre.

7. We are called by the God of peace.

God calls us though his wisdom in the bible to be an example of peace and wants every child to have peace in their lives.

8. Jesus paved the path to peace for us to follow

Through God’s wisdom in the Bible and the example and teaching of his son Jesus, we have been given pathways to peace which every child can learn.

9. Children become more confident and self-empowered to make a difference

As the leaders of the future, children can become active and positive contributors to building peace and relational health into the communities to which they belong.

10. Children can learn to have greater freedom from conflict

With every new child who learns peacemaking, our world becomes a better place, and they join the ever-growing network of children spreading peace throughout the world – which can only be a good thing!

What do you get in a PeaceWiseKids Course?

If this is your first time on the site, welcome to PeaceWiseKids. It’s great to have you with us and we hope you can find helpful information and resources to encourage more peacemakers in the world.

We do recognise however, that the very concept of ‘becoming a peacemaker’ could be an entirely ​new concept to some, and so we wanted to shed a bit of light on exactly what we’re on about here at PeaceWiseKids.

In short, we create interactive, online and in class programs teaching kids how to better understand what conflict is, how to identify it in their lives, and through the teaching​s of God, through Jesus, learn to deal with conflict in a healthy way.

Here’s what you’ll find in the online PeaceWiseKids courses

PeaceWiseKids is an online resource that adults (such as teachers or homeschoolers) can use to teach children how to be peacemakers, handle conflict well and build strong relationships in their life.

For more detail about the group presentation versions of our courses, taught by a leader from the front (eg. where not each child has a device), click here.

The content of each Course is specifically tailored to the age group in question, and all content is mapped to the Australian Curriculum. The overarching framework of each Course has the same basic structure:

Understanding Conflict
Understanding God’s plan for peace with Him and others.
Responding to Conflict
Learning to take responsibility for my part in the conflict and to speak the truth in love
Peacemakers for Life
Learning the art of being a peacemaker everywhere, all the time, for life
Topic 1 Conflict is a part of our everyday life Topic 6 Conflict starts in the heart, creates strong emotions and leads to consequences Topic 12 A peacemaker replaces attack responses with peacemaking stratagies
Topic 2 Conflict happens when we don’t live God’s way Topic 7 God helps me own my part in a conflict Topic 13 A peacemaker replaces escape responses with peacemaking strategies
Topic 3 Jesus is the ultimate peacemaker Topic 8 Peacemakers learn when to speak up and when to overlook Topic 14 I can be a peacemaker wherever I am
Topic 4 Conflict can be an opportunity to grow Topic 9 We can solve much conflict by talking and listening to each other Topic 15 I can point people to Jesus by being a peacemaker
Topic 5 The Bible shows us how to be peacemakers Topic 10 God wants us to forgive, as he forgives
Topic 11 Peacemakers learn when to ask for help and how to continue to show kindness

​Let’s cover the activities you’ll find within each topic

When we set out on the journey of creating PeaceWiseKids we wanted, first and foremost, to make it interactive and fun to complete the course. But we also wanted topics to encourage students to reflect on what they’re learning, and interact with each other within a controlled group environment.

As such, PeaceWiseKids has been designed so that each topic has the following elements:

  • Introductory stimulus video or other content
  • Animated explainer video which presents the key concepts for the topic
  • Online activities for each student to do – eg. quizzes, puzzles, games, free text answers to questions
  • Students can access a group forum where answers can be shared under the guidance of the teacher/parent
  • Additional activities are also provided to do as a group/class – for example, role-plays, games, worksheets etc

There’s more for the group leaders too

When you register as a group leader, you also have access to our Group Leader Resources section, where there are comprehensive ‘offline activities’ such as lesson plans, downloadable worksheets and printables.

There’s also a Group Leaders’ Forum as a place to interact with other group leaders who are teaching PeaceWiseKids, so that the learning community shares and grows together.

With your participation, together we can help our kids understand and deal with conflicts and collaboratively grow a generation of peacemakers for life.​

What is a “culture of peace”?

A positive culture can be a hard thing to cultivate for some groups. It takes time and a sustained effort of like-minded thinkers to achieve. It takes intentionality and focus. A culture of peace can exist in any community, be it a family, a school, a church or a workplace.

So what is a culture of peace? It’s an environment where the focus is shifted away from who’s right and who’s wrong and towards finding a peaceful resolution where the maintenance of the relationship is the priority, and everyone can move forward.

So what is a culture of peace really like?

If you take away one thing thing from this article, let it be this:

In a culture of peace, relationships are strong and healthy.

That doesn’t mean there’s no conflicts. It’s just that the way they’re dealt with is different. The big difference is that in a culture of peace, when issues arise the people have a common language.

And this is huge.

With agreed ways of how to identify and resolve issues, a resolution is far more likely to be achieved healthily and well.

It’s actually okay and safe to think differently, but only if the culture around the differences is one of understanding. It’s safe because the people involved are more committed to the maintenance of the relationship than they are to winning or being right.

In short, people in a culture of peace:

    • are free to be honest and feel safe
    • speak kindly, with respect and consider others
  • are quick to own and apologise for their own contributions to a conflict
  • are quick to forgive
  • have a common language and strategies for how to respond when relationships are strained or conflict arises – and they use them!
  • which means they spend much less time, emotional energy and pain dealing with conflicts and relationships which have gone toxic

So how do we develop a culture of peace?

The key to developing a culture of peace is to seek to live in the ways which God has given us. This of course points to the Bible the example of his son Jesus and with the help of his Holy Spirit.

PeaceWiseKids provides a way for children to learn these strategies in a fun, interactive, age-appropriate way.

Where enough people in a community learn to live with peacemaking as a way of life, the fabric of the relationships of that community change and the relationships become stronger, happier and the community develops a ‘culture of peace’.