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Making Peace
July 30, 2002

"We cannot pretend to work for the best interests of children while ignoring the needs of their parents." —Joyce L. Frett


Norma Williams from Australia presented on the topic, "Children and Violence: Ways of Making Peace," at the 2002 World Forum on Early Care and Education in Auckland, New Zealand. In concluding her presentation, she remarked...

"Punishment is not a suitable means of addressing 'bad' behaviour in children or adults when we take the view that such behaviour is a reaction or response to perceived or potential emotional, social or physical threat.

"Eminent theorist John Burton (1992) asserts: "Empirical evidence suggests, in short, that aggression is not used for its own sake. It is not part of human nature, as has been assumed all along. Indeed we perceive the possibility that violence exists not as the preferred means by which to remedy unacceptable conditions, but as the only available option within social institutions and frameworks that are irredeemably based on power".

"Viewing conflict as an agent for change and using non-violent intervention involves paradigm shifts; this includes our ideology, beliefs, attitudes, ethics, values and morals. Adults must take the responsibility for making peace by creating communities that value and promote equality, and function to preserve the innately peaceful and loving nature of all children. Through education and example, we can foster in children the skills and attitudes that will empower them to approach problems confidently, collaboratively and constructively, and to learn and live together compassionately."

Norma Williams' entire presentation as well as more than 30 other presentations from the 2001 and 2002 World Forums can be found in the World Forum section of www.ChildCareExchange.com.


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