Most of us are fortunate to have never known war up-close. Most of us have never spent time as a refugee. Most of us have never tried parenting for peace in a war zone.
Just how do parents protect their children — physically and emotionally — when their homes are ripped apart by war and terrorism? What is the best way to parent children into a sense of security once again?
Humanitarian psychologist Aala El-Khani, PhD, with the University of Manchester in the UK, has done extensive work in protecting and restoring mental health to children of families affected by armed conflict. She has been instrumental in the development of family skills programming in Afghanistan, Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon.
In this TED talk, Aala shares about her work specifically in Syria with refugee families. What she prescribes for war-zone families is essentially Attachment Parenting.
Today we remember Martin Luther King, Jr., the American minister-turned-civil rights activist whose legacy stretches even into the realms of parenting — if you consider that many of his quotes centered on peace and harmony can be aptly applied to homes that strive to raise their children with peace, warmth, trust, and nonviolence.
Here are 10 quotes of Martin Luther King, Jr., to keep in mind as you continue on your peaceful parenting journey:
- “Nonviolence is absolute commitment to the way of love. Love is not emotional bash. It is not empty sentimentalism. It is the active outpouring of one’s whole being into the being of another.”
- “Forgiveness is not an occasional act. It is a constant attitude.”
- “We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience.”
- “At the center of nonviolence stands the principle of love.”
- “World peace through nonviolent means is neither absurd nor unattainable. All other methods have failed. Thus we must begin anew. Nonviolence is a good starting point. Those of us who believe in this method can be voices of reason, sanity, and understanding amid the voices of violence, hatred, and emotion. We can very well set a mood of peace out of which a system of peace can be built.”
- “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”
- “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.”
- “Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”
- “He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love.”
- “The time is always right to do the right thing.”