Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Effective Communication: Anger Management

Anger is an extreme reaction to a situation or event.  On the positive side, it acts as a signal that something important to one’s life is being threatened.  It has an energizing effect, mobilizing the body for self-defense and providing the stamina to complete difficult tasks.  On the other hand, anger can interfere with one’s rational thought patterns, causing impulsive behavior.  It can evoke aggression.  Anger is a problem when it is too common or too intense, lasts too long or disrupts relationships.

Children find it hard to understand anger.  Often they are frightened by it, not only when it appears as violent explosions in others, but also when it feels out of control within themselves.  As early as Preschool, children should begin to name their feelings and find appropriate ways to deal with them constructively.
Peacemakers: The New Generation, for 3-, 4-, and 5-Year-Olds  (Chapter 5, pages 34-41; see below) offers several suggestions.  Illustrations, songs and games can be used to explore feelings like happiness, sadness, surprise and anger.  Puppets are good tools to model calmness in facing unwanted situations.

As children grow older, it is helpful to take a peaceful moment to reflect on one’s pattern of anger.  What makes you angry?  Why?  How do you usually express anger?  Is there a better way?

Guide the child in pre-planning appropriate coping strategies such as counting to ten, taking three deep breaths, or walking away. Offer effective words to use.  Let the child know that anger is a tricky emotion to deal with, so one must be patient with himself as he learns the coping skills
It is also important for children to know that anger can be helpful as well as obstructive.  It is anger at injustice that enables people to fight for what is right.  It is feeling angry that is a clue that one needs to be wary of the people or events at play.  Sometimes anger is a gift for which we can be grateful.

Journal or discuss:  Using metaphors from nature, how would you describe your style of anger? Blizzard, bubbling stream, willow tree?  Would you hope the child in your life would copy your style?  Why or why not?


Anger Workout

From Peacemakers: The New Generation, for Ages 3,4,and 5, p. 39

Materials:  None required
Purpose: To help children find alternative ways to handle anger

Gather the children in the Circle of Peace.  Say something like this:
We have been talking about feelings.  One feeling that is really strong and sometimes causes trouble is Anger.  Sometimes when we are very angry, we might hurt someone’s feelings or someone’s body.  That is something we never want to do.

What are some things that make you angry?  (If no response, suggest: Does it make you angry when it rains and Mommy says you can’t go outside?  …when the dog chews your favorite book?  …when there are no more cookies left in the cookie jar?)

Let me ask you this:  When you are REALLY angry, is it okay to hit someone?  …to kick someone?   …to bite someone?  NO.  It is never okay to hurt someone.

When you are really angry, what is okay?
It’s okay to growl.  It’s okay to stomp your feet.  It’s okay to yell. “I’m feeling really angry.”

Stand up.  Let’s do some things that are okay to do when you’re really, really angry. (Choose only one or two to practice each time, lest you really make the children angry.)

i.                    Big Bear – Growl and growl until the anger is gone, then let someone give you a bear hug.

ii.                  Stomping Grapes – Stomp, stomp, stomp until the anger is gone, then get a drink
iii.                Hug and Jump – Hold yourself in a tight hug, jump up and down and say, “I’m so angry!” until you start to laugh.

iv.                 Run It Off- Find a safe place to run and run in circles until the anger is gone, then sit down and take big breaths.

v.                   Throw It Away – Take your anger and roll it up into a tight little ball, then throw it as far as you can.  Do it again if you need to.

vi.                 Huff and Puff – Huff and puff and blow all your anger away.

After you get rid of your big angry feelings, go to a grown-up and tell him or her what made you angry.  Ask that person to help you make it better.
 Reproducible for group use only.  Copyright E.T. Nedder Publishing 2004

Good News/Bad News

From Peacemakers: The New Generation, Grades 6 through 8, pp. 63-64

Materials:  Newsprint and marker, video Running Free (Columbia Tri-Star) or another appropriate film which portrays varying styles of anger.
Purpose:  To demonstrate the positive and negative aspects of anger.

In the Circle of Peace open the discussion with a statement in this vein: The lunchroom is closed because of remodeling.  The good news is we can eat lunch outside picnic-style.  The bad news is we can’t get to the lemonade
Talk about how often in life one thing can have two aspects, positive and negative.  Give an example like snow on Christmas Eve.  Ask for volunteers to name a good thing about that and a bad thing about it.
Label two columns on the newsprint: Good News and Bad News.  Give the children the following examples and ask them to write suitable items for each under the applicable title.
·         The eye doctor prescribes glasses for you.
·         The principal declares a snow day.
·         The TV breaks down.
·         The ball game is rained out.
·         There are eight people for dinner and six slices of pie.
·         You have outgrown your favorite sweater.
·         The family can’t afford a vacation this year.
·         You are angry because the new kid in class is being teased.

Ask the children how anger can be both good and bad news.  Have them explain their answers.
Add any of the following explanations under Good News that may have been omitted:
i.                    Anger helps us know that something is wrong.
ii.                  Anger prepares our bodies for self-defense.
iii.                Anger can motivate us to make a difference.
iv.                 Anger gives us energy to act.
v.                   Anger gives us fortitude so we can follow through on difficult challenges.
vi.                 Anger can help us be good Peacemakers.

Add any if the following explanations under Bad News that may have been omitted:
i.                    Anger can muddle our thinking and confuse the issues.
ii.                  Anger can hide our true feelings of fear or sadness or disappointment.
iii.                Anger can cause us to act inappropriately.
iv.                 Anger might last so long or be so intense that it interferes with out relationships.
v.                   Anger can result in violence.
vi.                 Anger can prevent us from being good Peacemakers.

Introduce Running Free,  or another appropriate film.  Tell the children to watch for displays of anger in this movie.  How do the characters use their anger?  Is it good news or bad news?  Show the movie.
Process the activity asking questions like these:

  • ·         Anger which is motivated by compassion and love is called Just Anger.  It can lead to actions which bring peace to the world.  Anger which is motivated by prejudice, hatred or selfishness is Unjust Anger.  It can lead to pain and suffering.  What examples of anger did you see in Running Free?  Would you say they were just or unjust?  What were the results of the angry feelings?
  • ·         Lucky was justly angry at Caesar for preventing the freedom of the other horses.  How did he handle his anger?  What was the result?  What do you think might have happened if he had used his strength to kill Caesar?
  • ·         St. Augustine said, “Hope has two beautiful sisters, Anger and Courage.”  What do you think this means?  Do you think he was referring to Just Anger or Unjust Anger?  Can you give an example from Running Free?
  • ·         Is there anything in today’s world that causes you to feel Just Anger?  What can you do to change it?  Do you need to be older?  Do you need help?  Who can help you?
        • Reproducible for group use only. Copyright E.T. Nedder Publisher, 2003

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Forgiveness: Releasing Resentment

An essential principle to peacemaking and one of the most difficult concepts to convey to children is that of forgiveness.  Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that adults don’t seem to like to talk about it, so they tend to ignore it, or over-simplify it.  “He said he’s sorry.  Now you say okay.” 
Jamie Perillo, LPC, warns, “Teaching your child to forgive…will make navigating childhood and adolescence easier.  Holding on to anger and resentment is a recipe for anxiety and depression for children and adults. The earlier forgiveness is taught, the earlier you can prevent children from taking on the victim role.  That in turn helps prevent anxiety and depression.”

It’s important to understand what forgiveness is not.  It is not a magic wand that makes offensive behavior suddenly disappear.  It is not an acquittal that declares an offender “not guilty.”  Forgiving is not forgetting.  It does not condone misbehaviors.  It is not a feeling.  It is a decision. 

Forgiveness is a release of resentment.  It involves naming the action and its painful consequences and then choosing to let it go, because to hang on to the agony of resentment and hurt is dangerous to one’s well-being.

When a child has been hurt by a bully or a friend or a sibling, intentionally or not, she needs to talk about it with a trusted adult. She needs to be able to recall the incident from the point of view of the offender, as well as her own.  Was her friend feeling left out?  Did he think there had been an injustice against himself?  Might he have felt defensive about something?  Helping a child understand a possible trigger for the event might add some compassion and encourage forgiveness.

Before expecting forgiveness, though, it is important to let the child identify how he might be feeling after being hurt.  A loving adult can validate a child’s fear, anger, or embarrassment and offer comfort.  When the child is ready, the adult can help him put into words how he will face the offender.  Teaching “I Statements” as described in Peacemakers: The New Generation, Grades 6-8, pages 50-52, will help the child say the person’s name, say how he feels, say what caused the feeling, and finally ask for what he needs.  Then, he can feel more comfortable saying, “I forgive you.”

 Once the unacceptable behavior has been addressed and any necessary consequences have been laid down, it is best to let go and move on.   Use characters like Dr. Seuss’ Grinch to demonstrate the danger of clinging to anger.  One becomes cranky and mean-spirited over time. Bitterness and self-pity interfere with one’s happiness and social development. An aggrieved heart cannot love. There can also be physical effects like fatigue or digestive disorders, headaches and other stress-related ailments. 

If, after expressing forgiveness, the child is still struggling with feelings of hurt or resentment, Jamie Perillo, LPC, suggests using visualization to let go of any harbored feelings.  On the website, World of Psychology, she offers the following example:
Hand your child a pretend balloon. Ask him or her to think about the feelings he or she stated — anger, sadness, embarrassment. Then ask him or her to blow all of those feelings into the pretend balloon. Tell him or her that the balloon is tied to him or her by an imaginary string. When he or she is ready to let go of the feelings, hand over pretend scissors to cut the string and release the feelings. Help your child imagine the balloon sailing high into the sky. When ready, imagine that the balloon gently pops, spreading a dusting of love and compassion to both parties. Remind your child it might take more than once and they can practice the visualization as much as they would like.

We owe it to our children to take the time to deliberately teach them about forgiveness. Life is so much richer when one understands compassion, kindness and unconditional love.

Journal or discuss:  What might prevent an adult from guiding a child through forgiveness?  How would you overcome that obstacle?

Rockin’ World
From Peacemakers: The New Generation, Grades 4-6, p.35
Materials:  Backpack, fist-size rocks (one per person), marking pens, stop watch or clock, basket labeled “Forgiveness.”

Purpose:  To understand the communal effect of forgiveness.

Gather in the Circle of Peace.

Explain to the children that when you don’t forgive someone it is called “holding a grudge.”  Ask:
1.    What happens to two friends when one holds a grudge? Does anything happen to the community?
2.    What would it be like at your birthday party if you were holding a grudge against your best friend?
3.    Would anyone besides you and your friend be affected?  How?

Introduce a game.  Give each child a rock and a marker.  Ask them to think of someone that they might be holding a grudge against.  Tell them, without using any names, to draw a symbol of that grudge on the rock.  If they can’t think of any real grudges, congratulate them and ask that, for the sake of the game, they just write the word “grudge” on the rock and pretend they have one.  Invite the children to put their rocks into the back pack.
Put the rock-filled back pack on the first child and have the others line up behind him.  Explain that you are going to have a relay race against time.  Mark out the distance for the race.  (Make it somewhat challenging; at least fifty feet, if possible.) At the signal, start the timer.  The first child runs the length of the course and back.  Help the second child put on the back pack, then she runs the course.  Continue until everyone has had a turn.  Record the finish time.

Gather again in the Circle of Peace.  Ask:
1.    What was your experience in the race?
2.    How did someone else’s grudge affect you?
3.    What do you think would happen if you could forgive someone and remove your rock from the backpack?

Put on some soft music.  Invite the children to think about the grudge they held in the backpack. Pausing for time to think between each question, ask the following:
·         Think about the circumstances of the offensive event.
·         What was the worst part?
·         How did it make you feel?
·         Why do you think the offender hurt you?
·         Do you think he/she meant to hurt you?
·         Do you think you would feel better if you could stop being angry about it?
·         Do you think you could ever forgive him/her?

Wait about thirty seconds, then say, If you think you can give up your grudge, please go one at a time, remove a rock from the back pack and place it in the Forgiveness basket.
When everyone is ready, run the race again with the lighter backpack.  Compare times between the two races.

Gather in the Circle of Peace to discuss:
1.    Explain the difference between the two races?
2.    Explain what is meant when we say, “Carrying a grudge is a burden.”
3.    Do you agree that forgiveness sets us free?

Reproducible for group use only.  Copyright 2013, Mary Fox and Claire Perez
For more information and to purchase Peacemakers: The New Generation books, please visit: http://www.peacemakerstng.com/

Friday, February 14, 2014

Resilience: Helping the Bully Target

There is a type of fish, known as the puffer, that frightens off enemies by puffing itself up to a greater size. A bully is like a threatened puffer fish that is all puffed up and full of air. The best tool at the bully's disposal is the willingness of other people to be victims. When a bully meets weakness he thrives. When a bully encounters dignity and assertiveness he deflates into nothingness. ( See more here.)

When we last talked about this puffer fish, we focused on the Bully, a child desperately in need of adult attention.  This time I’d like to turn our attention to the Target, the child who is tormented by sometimes daily nastiness.  How does a parent or other loving adult protect this child?

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly a third of all students aged 12-18 reported having been bullied in school in 2007, some almost daily.  (See more here.)  Given these statistics, it would seem that, unless we accompany our children to every place they go and witness every encounter they have, we cannot really protect them from bullying.  We can, however, insulate them, in a way.  We can prepare them for challenging encounters with the world by helping them build resilience.  The ability to bounce back from adversity and take control of the situation provides a safeguard against the damaging effects of victimization.

Here are some suggestions:
·         Creative problem-solving empowers a child to be pro-active in dealing with her feelings of intimidation or inferiority.  Dr. Jane Nelson and Lynn Lott of Positive Discipline,  suggest talking with the child about bullying.  Why do people need to bully? What does it accomplish? What effect does it have on the Target?  What action can be taken to help the Target?  Does the Bully need help?  Who can help?  If you were faced with a Bully, what do you think you would do?

·         Look for heroes whose examples model resilience for children.  Find them in sports, arts, or politics.  Point them out among school mates, neighbors, relatives.  Read about them in history books and even in novels. Talk about how they overcame adversity without using violence or revenge.

·         Maintain hope for your child.  Assure your child that you will always be there for him and that you will not stop finding ways to help.  Encourage him make positive, creative plans for the future, near and far.  Give him responsibility at home and in the community.  This will build his confidence and distract him from the negativity of the bullying.
·         Teach her effective communication skills. Peacemakers: The New Generation has several lessons in each book.  Roll play typical scenarios making up short responses to insults.  For example: To “You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny!” An answer might be, “Thanks for noticing.”  No eye contact.  Keep walking.  Decide when no answer is best.  Decide at what point an adult needs to be consulted.

·         Refer to the many children’s books and websites offering good advice to Bullying Targets.  One such site is “It’s My Life “ 

Wisdom Panel

·      From  Peacemakers: The New Generation, Grades 1 Through 3, p. 21

Materials: Three bright-colored, wide ribbons with the words “Wisdom Panel” printed on them; three safety pins
Purpose: To share ideas for problem-solving

Sit in the Circle of Peace.  Tell the children that everyone has a dilemma from time to time.  Usually the predicament is small – like whether to eat the cake or ice cream first – and can be easily resolved.  But sometimes the situation is more complicated.  Then we need help figuring out what to do.  It’s a good idea to find someone we trust who will share her wisdom with us.

Tell the children that today they will practice sharing their wisdom with one another by forming an official Wisdom Panel.  Three panelists will be given a problem and each will share his or her wisdom about what to do.

After asking for volunteers, choose three to be panel members.  Give them the sashes to be worn on one shoulder, crossing the body and pinned together at the waist.  These are just for the fun of looking official.

Invite the Wisdom Panel to sit in a place of honor where everyone can see them.

Present a problem from the point of view of the Bully, the Target or the By-stander, and listen to their responses.  Be as non-critical of their solutions as possible.  Guide outrageous ideas with questions rather than statements.

In the end, thank everyone for sharing their wisdom.  Over time, encourage everyone in the group to take a turn on the Wisdom Panel.

Reproducible for group use only.  Copyright 2004, E.T. Nedder Publishing

I like to think of resilience as a kind of prophylactic, something to be taken before getting sick in order to avoid the illness.  A resilient child is less likely to be a Target for any bully, but if she is a Target, she will be less likely to be defeated by the attack.

Journal or discuss: Were you ever bullied as a child?  How did it affect you?  What did or would have helped you deal with the bully? 

For more information and to purchase Peacemakers: The New Generation books, please visit: http://www.peacemakerstng.com/

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Respect Dignity: What's a Parent of a Bully to Do?

Respect Dignity: What’s a Parent of a Bully to Do?

 Three times in the past two months or so, I have been greatly distressed to see stories, with photos, of children being publicly disciplined by their parents for bullying.  My heart goes out to the children who are being humiliated in such a public forum and, because it is now in cyberspace, this tough stage in their lives could haunt them for years to come.  My heart also goes out to the parents who are obviously at their wits’ end trying to curb these belligerent, unruly children.  How do we stop these downhill attitudes, rolling faster than we can catch up?
I’d like to suggest that that a fundamental principle of peacemaking has been broken by both the child and the parent.  They have forgotten the meaning of human dignity.  The child obviously does not see dignity in his target.  It is easy for him to be disrespectful.  But he also seems to have lost track of it in himself.  Bullies usually don’t respect themselves any more than they do others. His parents, as so often happens when life runs amok, have become so distracted by the nastiness, they, too, have lost sight of the inherent dignity of their child.  Let me propose that we find that dignity, that self-worth with which  all of us were born and try a different approach using ideas of professionals in the field.     
  1.         Respond immediately, at the first indication of bullying behavior.  Think of it as a potential crisis, like seeing your child walking out on thin ice.  Resolve it before it becomes worse.
  2.         Be firm but gentle with the child rather than tough.  Use respectful language rather than severe, punitive words and tone of voice. Be clear with the child that bullying is not to be tolerated.   Also be clear with oneself, that bullying is as serious as an illness and needs to be treated with the same amount of care. Discipline is the medicine.  Discipline means to teach.  What we want to teach the child is how to respect the dignity of each person, including her own.
  3.         There is a need for a one-on-one relationship with an adult who can be trusted by the child as well as the parents.  This person will talk with her and help her better understand the reasons for her behavior and the consequences of it. A trusted teacher, a beloved aunt or uncle, a family friend who has a long-standing relationship with the child might be less emotional and feel safer to the child than her parents.  In some cases, a professional counselor or therapist may be needed to handle the situation.
  4.         Deal with the child privately.  Facebook is not the place for discipline.  Humiliation and embarrassment are bullying tactics and will only teach how to bully, not how to respect.

Dr. Jane Nelson writes on her web site for Positive Discipline, “There is a type of fish, known as the puffer, that frightens off enemies by puffing itself up to a greater size. A bully is like a threatened puffer fish that is all puffed up and full of air…. Remember that you want to deflate the bullying behavior and not the person doing the bullying.” (See more  here)
Here are some further suggestions from Dr. Jane Nelson:
  •     Invite the child to fill out a what/how form, then take time to talk with him about it.  Considering age-appropriate abilities such a form might have questions like the following:          
    •  What were you trying to do or accomplish?
    • What happened?
    • What caused it to happen?
    • How do you feel about what happened?
    • What did you learn from what happened?
    • What suggestions do you have for solving the problem?
    • How can you use what you learned in the future?
  •        Discuss with the child reasons why people use bullying behaviors, including adults’ bullying tactics if the child is in junior high or high school.
  •         Read stories in which some characters bully each other.  Point out that force or violence isn’t necessary to deflate those who seem powerful.  Watch movies like “The Sand Lot” which exemplifies respectful behavior among peers or “Harriet the Spy” which shows the rewards of honest dialogue in resolving conflict.  Claire and I have used both these movies with Peacemakers: The New Generation and had very profound conversations with the children afterward.  It is easier to express feelings when they can be transferred to a fictitious character.
  •        Explain to your child that the most challenging bully of all is “that voice that discourages and intimidates each and every person from the inside.” (Dr. Jane Nelson)  Help her describe the messages she receives from her inner critics.  Strategize ways she can deal with that “inner bully” in the future.

The Master Teacher,( here), advises that many times a bullying child is reacting to feelings of insecurity.  This needs to be addressed directly.  Let the child speak without judgment about what scares him, what makes him angry, what makes him sad.  Give him a chance to brag a bit to you about what he does well.  Notice his strengths.
 Give him serious responsibilities with adequate instructions on how to fulfill them.  Rechannel his energies.  Design activities which will bring out his leadership and assertion strengths in a positive way.  However, be sure to make success or failure “safe” when you do. Acknowledge positive behavior sincerely.  Use words like “strong,” “hard working,” and “brilliant.”
Adults need to be strong, focused and patient. Like anything else, recovering from bullying is a process which takes time.  Don’t predict, but expect occasional set-backs while the child develops skills for dealing with disappointment, conflict and challenges.  If it takes years to develop an Olympic athlete, how long will it take to grow a noble adult?

  For more information and to purchase Peacemakers: The New Generation books, please visit: http://www.peacemakerstng.com/

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Positive Self- Identity:  Finding Purpose
Spending the day at the County Fair with our grandchildren, we stopped at the 4H tent
to get a bite to eat.  Eight-year-old Sofi, feeling particularly hungry, ordered the steak sandwich. 
“This is good!” she said after the first bite.  Then we didn’t hear from her again, until she was finished. “That steak sandwich was delicious!”
“It’s always nice to tell the cook when you like the food.  After all, he’s been volunteering at
 that grill all afternoon,” I suggested.
So we walked over to the grill and caught his attention. 
“That steak sandwich was delicious!” Sofi called to him.
At first he looked wary, perhaps thinking we had come to complain.  When he realized what
she had said, he grinned brightly.  “Thank you.  I’m glad you liked it.”
“Sofi,” I pointed out as we walked away, “Did you see how happy you made him with just one sentence?”
“Nana,” she told me seriously, “That’s my purpose.”
“Pardon me?”
“It’s my purpose to bring people happiness.  It’s why I’m made,” she explained.
Now I was grinning!  Sofi’s mom had taken care to teach her daughters that they were
created out of love to bring love into the world.  It’s a lesson that will serve them – and the rest of us – well throughout their lives.

                So much is written about building children’s self-esteem.  We want them to know that they are special, unique, loved.  We tell them they are beautiful, smart, the best, the winner.  We bend over backward to keep them from feeling inferior or discouraged.  We know that confident children will be happy children, more likely to perform well in any situation.
                There is also much written about over-doing the attention.  We are warned of the danger of coddling a child until he grows to expect praise for any effort at all.  We read of the “new bully,” the one who is so self-centered, she feels entitled to all the attention and anything she sets her sights on.  These new bullies have no sense of boundaries.  They will do whatever it takes to get what they want.  Nor do they have any sense of remorse if their target gets hurt. In their minds they are more than the Center of the Universe; they are THE universe.
                Working with Peacemakers: The New Generation, we began to shift our focus from developing positive self-esteem to developing positive self-identity.  We realized that children need to think of themselves, not as lone individuals, but as individuals who make up something bigger.  They are part of a community: a family, a class, a neighborhood, a country.  Those communities help to define their uniqueness: she is empathetic, he is a good speller, she is thoughtful, he is honest, etc.    Those communities also help define each one’s purpose: care taker, crossing guard, dog walker, patriot.  So we endeavored to extend our message to the children broadening, “You are loved.  You are unique.  You are beautiful.”   We began to add, “”You are loved just because you are.  You are unique in what you bring to the world.  You are beautiful in the way you complete the picture. And you are connected.  We need you and you need us.  We are one.”  
When they are young, children’s parents will help them recognize their purpose.  As they grow, they will find it for themselves, sometimes pleasantly surprising their elders. Years ago my daughter Amelia and I facilitated a retreat for families.  As part of the day, we asked parents to hear what their children wanted to be when they grew up.  We then encouraged them to help their children appreciate how their choice would add love and peace to the world.  We were all gratified to hear the youngsters announce such plans as:  “I will be a fireman and keep people safe.”  “I will be a ballerina and make people smile at the beautiful music and movement.”  “I will be a pro football player and teach kids how to be good sports.”
Helping a child develop a positive self-identity builds her self-esteem, withdraws her need to bully, and adds to peace in the world.

Puzzling It Over
Adapted from Peacemakers: The New Generation, Grades 6- 8, p. 5

Materials:  Photo or drawing of the earth cut into various puzzle shapes, as many pieces as there are children, markers
Purpose: To help children realize the unique contribution each person makes to the world.

In the Circle of Peace discuss the word “interdependence.”  Compare the word with “independence.”  When we are young, it seems that our whole goal is to learn to be independent.  That’s important, because independence brings freedom to accomplish the things we want to do.  But really, even adults are interdependent to some extent.  Doctors help their patients, pharmacists help the doctors, chemistry teachers help the pharmacists, etc.  Ask for examples of interdependence in a family, classroom, and neighborhood.  How are countries interdependent?
Divide the puzzle pieces among the children.  Have each write his name on the front of the piece.  Allow time for them to assemble the puzzle.
Ask the children to complete the metaphor: We are each like a piece of the puzzle because ___.
·         Though we fit together to make a whole, we are each uniquely made, no two pieces are alike.
·         Sometimes we have to turn ourselves around or up-side –down in order to fit properly.
·         No one else can fill our space.  If we are not allowed to fill our space, it will remain empty.
·         If we refuse to fit, or if someone prevents us from fitting, then we will be alone outside the picture and the puzzle will be incomplete.

For more information and to purchase Peacemakers: The New Generation books, please visit: http://www.peacemakerstng.com/