The Young Peacemaker is a curriculum that parents, teachers and youth workers can use to teach children how to prevent and resolve conflict in a constructive and biblically faithful manner. The curriculum emphasizes principles of confession, forgiveness, communication and character development, and uses realistic stories, practical applications, role plays and stimulating activities.
This detailed and comprehensive resource may be used in families, Christian schools, home schools, Sunday schools, vacation Bible schools and youth groups.
Although the material is designed primarily for 3rd through 7th grades, it has been successfully used with preschool and high school students.
For brief personal testimony on how the author of this resource applied these principles with her own children, read Help! My Children Won’t Stop Fighting.
Twelve Key Principles for Young Peacemakers
- Conflict is a slippery slope.
- Conflict starts in the heart.
- Choices have consequences.
- Wise-way choices are better than my-way choices.
- The blame game makes conflict worse.
- Conflict is an opportunity.
- The Five A’s can resolve conflict.
- Forgiveness is a choice.
- It is never too late to start doing what’s right.
- Think before you speak.
- Respectful communication is more likely to be heard.
- A respectful appeal can prevent conflict.
The Slippery Slope
The Young Peacemaker uses a “slippery slope” diagram to help children understand the various responses to conflict. The slope is divided into three zones:
- The Escape Zone: Deny, Blame Game, and Run Away
- The Attack Zone: Put Downs, Gossip, Fight
- The Work-It-Out Zone: Overlook, Talk-It-Out, and Get Help
The Five A’s of Confession
Children, like adults, can learn to confess their wrongs in a way that demonstrates that they are taking full responsibility for their contribution to a conflict.
- Admit what you did wrong.
- Apologize for how your choice affected the other person.
- Accept the consequences.
- Ask for forgiveness.
- Alter your choice in the future.
Four Promises of Forgiveness
Children can learn to forgive one another in a way that models the forgiveness they have received from God through the gospel of Jesus Christ:
- I promise I will think good thoughts about you and do good to you.
- I promise I will not bring up this situation and use it against you.
- I promise I will not talk to others about what you did.
- I promise I will be friends with you again.
These promises may be summarized in a poem that is so easy a four-year old can memorize it:
- Good thought
- Hurt you not
- Gossip never
- Friends forever
Detailed Parent/Teacher Manual
The Young Peacemaker Parent/Teacher Manual provides 200 pages of detailed guidance on how to teach peacemaking to children. Each lesson includes specific lesson goals and objectives, a primary principle to learn and practice, how to set the stage for each lesson, an introductory cartoon and story to capture children’s interest, suggested teaching methods, and practical activities for personal application.
Young Peacemaker Student Activity Booklets
The Young Peacemaker Student is Activity Booklet set includes twelve 10-page comic book style booklets designed to capture children’s attention and lead them through the key principles of each lesson. These bright, full-color booklets are so popular with children that they often keep them in their rooms and read them over and over. Click Student Activity Booklet Covers to see all twelve booklet covers and Student Activity Booklet #1 to see the content of a complete booklet.
Review of The Young Peacemaker by David Powlison, Executive Director, Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation
A Word from the Author describes the experience as well as the theological and personal convictions of the author.
Two Spanish translations of the Young Peacemaker are available through this link.
Peacemakers in Training is a secular version of The Young Peacemaker. It may be obtained through the National Center for Youth Issues.