My sister-in-law Marcia (who we call Auntie M) got my son Ari a super cool tee shirt with a peace-symbol—of a hand making a peace sign (thanks Auntie M!).
I explained to Ari that this was a “peace symbol.” Then realized I needed to explain to my two and a half year old what peace was all about.
I told him peace was a feeling of happiness mixed with quiet.
Because my son is a toddler, he right now basically knows happiness as mixed with LOUD—something which is high-energy and adrenaline-fueling. When my son’s happy about something, he giggles loudly or shouts excitedly—even literally exclaiming:“I’m happy!!!!”
I explained to Ari that sometimes happiness is a feeling of calm, quiet, relaxation—which is what “peace” is all about. And then I explained you can get to this feeling of peace from being with someone you love or doing something quiet which you love, like coloring with crayons or reading a book or listening to music. Or you can get this feeling of peace from breathing deeply or meditating. (Note: I’ve been slowly introducing meditation to Ari.)
I held up my two fingers in imitation of the symbol on his tee shirt and told him, “When I hold up my fingers like this to you, it means ‘peace to you’ or ‘quiet happiness’ to you.” He smiled and hugged me. I said, “This hug right now—this is peace; this is quiet happiness. Mommy is feeling quiet happy with your arms around me.”
Later that day, Ari was being a VERY loud version of happiness. I held up my fingers in a peace sign and said, “Peace Ari! Let’s get quiet happy!” He smiled and said, “Shhhh…” Then he got quiet happy.
Now, I don’t know if this is always going to work as a method to calm him, but I’m going to try the “peace symbol” again in the future if he gets into that state of super loud happy, and thought I’d pass this on to other parents out there.
It’s kind of cool to have this method to suggest to my son to calm down, yet remain happy, and to do so in a peaceful manner, without raising my voice but by remaining peaceful myself.
Wishing all of you a peaceful “quiet happy” moment filled day.
Karen Salmansohn is a best selling author and award winning designer with over one-million books sold and founder of the popular inspirational website notsalmon.com. She writes and art directs inspirational books/motivation for both adults and kids. She’s also very friendly, so feel free to drop on by her site and say hello!
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