Everyday Peacemakers

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Everyday Peacemakers | Are you a peacemaker? Recently I've been convicted that I need to aim toward that goal, in a focused way. As parents it is not always easy to have peace or to facilitate peace among our children or even our spouse | #podcast #homeschoolpodcast #NoahsArk #TheFlood #Episode526 #EverydayPeacemakers #PeacemakersEverydayPeacemaker

Are you a peacemaker? Recently I’ve been convicted that I need to aim toward that goal, in a focused way. As parents it is not always easy to have peace or to facilitate peace among our children or even our spouse. In this podcast, we explore the elements of peacemaking and show your children through examples how to demonstrate this gift with others.

Are You A Peacemaker?

As a parent, you will more than likely find some portion of your day spent keeping children from fighting or keeping the peace between your child and spouse. If you have a large family, you are definitely in this role whether you want to be or not. I never considered myself a peacemaker, especially with two younger siblings. They were seven and eight years younger than me, and my role was firmly entrenched. I thought I was the boss. I didn’t have an opportunity to babysit for other families since my parents had a built-in babysitter. But, I didn’t mind. I realized later that I was in the role of peacemaker because I kept the two brothers (only thirteen months apart) from fighting.

We all strive for peace in our homes, it makes it so much easier to manage our household when our children get along. We find that our days go so much better and we can actually accomplish much! In order for this to happen, we must have cooperation and an understanding that can be forged, especially when the children understand the consequences. Before I deliver into specifics, I wanted to share with you what a quick search turned up.

If you search for the definition of a peacemaker, you will be disappointed with the results of an AI-generated search. AI, as we know, lacks heart, and here is an excerpt of what I found.

THIS IS AI-GENERATED ONLINE  – Read bits of it aloud and comment. 

“A peacemaker in your family is often the person who takes on the role of mediator, intermediary, and mediator to pacify those who are irritable or angry. This role is often assigned to them by their parents or caregivers when they were young, and it can be a heavy burden to carry. The peacemaker’s job is to keep the peace by smoothing out differences and avoiding conflict, often at the expense of their own needs and desires.”

(This was AI-Generated online.) Do your own search, does it lack heart? Let me continue reading, see if you agree or disagree with these statements: (FIRST READ then comment).

Characteristics of a Peacemaker

  • They are often drawn into complaints of tension with other family members

I don’t think any of us are drawn into complaints. I do believe we set the record straight, and either we allow our children to figure out a beneficial solution or we help them in some way.

  • They may have a hard time saying no or setting boundaries

That is not true – if you are a peacemaker, you do set boundaries – otherwise, chaos would ensue – if there is no peace!

  • They may prioritize others’ needs over their own

Umm – yes, this applies to all parents. By definition, a good parent is selfless – not to the detriment of the child (in other words, we don’t let them act horribly), but we do many things we’d rather not like get up in the night, to care for our children when they are hurt or sick, cook, clean, you know, parent!

  • They may struggle with anger or assertiveness

That is rich! Because you are a peacemaker you are angry? Assertive – yes, I can see this, but angry. How can peace and anger co-exist? Don’t you love AI?

  • They may feel responsible for others’ emotions and well-being

This one is not as much of a stretch. I think we sometimes fail at parenting because we want everyone happy and sometimes blame ourselves, but again, that is part of parenting.

It goes on about the effects of being a peacemaker and the difficulty one has in this role, but I will spare you that list. What I will say is that the answer to breaking free from the role of a peacemaker is narcissism. The suggestions, I believe, are ridiculous. I do believe that being a peacemaker means communicating effectively and assertively; in addition, it means setting boundaries. Harmony in families takes place when there is mutual respect. Often respect is expected but not given in return. We found this out with our teen son. He knew how to tell his younger siblings how to act and what to do. However, the same standard did not apply to him. This is sometimes how we as parents are seen by our children. Do what I say and not what I do. Just as in expecting good character, it should be demonstrated by our daily actions in order to be copied.

This brings me to the list of suggestions and ideas that may be beneficial to your family. The first is from scripture – Matthew 5:9:  “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”  Yes, Jesus meant women too – sons and daughters of God. To be a peacemaker means to be peaceful yourself. You know how we never put ourselves first (most of us, that is)? Now might be a good time to take a look at your schedule and get up a bit earlier or stay up a bit later and relax. For me this was a bath nightly. It was a luxury to have thirty minutes alone and relax. I was so rejuvenated afterward and it helped me to sleep. (That is, until I had to wake up to feed the baby.) What is it that you can do to create that little bit of time when you can think or just relax? Getting recharged is important.

Here are some past episodes and blog posts you may enjoy:

Relax and Refresh

Encouragement for Moms

Summer Planning  Sign up to receive our latest planner.

Creating a Home Mindset

Everyday Peacemaker – Conflict Resolution

How do you deal with conflict? Do you expect your children to figure it out on their own (typical in larger families), or do you get involved? This is a huge indicator of how loud or effective the conflict resolution will turn out. I watched my grandchildren right before an event my daughter was hosting. Two of the siblings ran upstairs (one chasing the other) demanding a toy that the other had “taken.” My daughter continued to finish her preparations, and other than asking the boys to keep it down, there was no other comment. When the older of the two grandsons came downstairs, I quietly said, “You are blessed that you have the mother you have because if I was your mother, you would have been in trouble. You do realize that making your brother angry is not productive.” He answered, “Yes, grandma, but if you were my other, you would have nipped this with (he named another sibling) who apparently started the incident, taking the item and handing it off to the youngest, knowing the alteration would take place! I laughed and said, “Yes, heads would have rolled.” We both laughed at that.

We parent differently. The boys did figure it out loudly, but apparently, that is allowed. If my daughter micromanaged every situation, it would be exhausting. The children, however, have some parameters (not a right or wrong, just an observation) that allow this behavior.

Look at your parenting style. What behaviors (right or wrong) do you allow? This is an indicator of the behavior of the children. I realized that I was a “threatening repeating parent” after attending a parenting seminar. Once I realized this I learned how to remedy it by actually following through and doing what I said I would do (in the threat). The children quickly learned it was no longer an empty threat and mom would follow through.

Being a peacemaker can be taught as well – asking your children, especially those who tattle, if they are being peacemakers (you may need to define this first). Here is the breakdown of how this looks:

  1. Telling on each other (when it is not life-threatening) is a way to get someone in trouble for no good reason.
  2. Ask the child if he is being a peacemaker or trying to get his/her sibling in trouble.
  3. If he answers in trouble, ask for an apology and better yet, to apologize to the sibling.
  4. Taking it one step further ask your child how he can encourage his brother/sister to make good choices.

My daughter often asks her children if they are making a good choice. This is a great way to put the responsibility on their shoulders. It is effective, and the response (or lack of response) is telling.

Making a good choice can be something you practice. You can put the children through different scenarios (all of the Character Planners contain lessons that focus on the character and questions the children can answer and act out!) Check out the Media Angels store here – There are two twelve-pack planners and here is another one (smaller bundles available as well)

In addition, teaching the children that choices have consequences is part of the “follow-through” I discussed above. Focus on the Family has a great article here that covers some of the same points and additional ones. The main idea is that if you attempt to bring the family together do it in positive ways ahead of the conflict. When bored, children find ways to entertain themselves, and unfortunately, it is to the detriment of others! Keeping the family united and under one roof is the goal of many; having peacemakers in your family is a blessing we shouldn’t take for granted. I pray this episode was beneficial.  Please share this episode with a friend and until next time!

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