Peaceability is not an elimination or ignoring of emotions. Rather, it means to learn to control them and to prevent their causing hurt to other people.
“Children need calmness. It gives them a kind of security. Peace and the control of temper is a powerful and important value that is largely a product of love and of the atmosphere created in a home. Understanding is key. We seldom lose our temper when we are trying to understand. Children who are taught to try to understand why things happen and why people act the way they do will become calmer and more in control.” –Linda and Richard Eyre (Teaching Your Children Values)
Here are some of our favorite picture books for talking about Peaceability.
Peace Is An Offering
Written By: Annette LeBox
Illustrated By: Stephanie Graegin
This book is such a good one for pointing out ways that children can choose peace and love in their everyday. Peace is something we can control and share in our own sphere of influence. The illustrations are sweet and show children of all ages and races choosing and finding peace.
Peace is an offering. Peace is gratitude for simple things. Peace is the words that you say to your brother. Peace is quieting someone’s fears. Peace is joining not pulling apart. Follow a group of children as they show us what peace is and where to find it. Peace is all around us if we know what to look for and how to share it.
Meditation Is An Open Sky: Mindfulness For Kids
Written By: Whitney Stewart
Illustrated By: Sally Rippin
Peace can be found in the quiet moments and sometimes we need to create those quiet moments, because life is loud and busy. This book is not the kind of book you read from cover to cover (in one sitting). Rather, it is a guide with simple exercises for helping kids manage stress and emotions. When things are going crazy around our house and we need to create some calm this book is awesome! It doesn’t ALWAYS work, but most of the time it does. We have all the kids lay down on the carpet and we will read one or two of the meditations.
Meditation won’t take away all the problems, but it does help kids and adults deal with them. Meditation is a great way to help train and focus the mind. Meditation and sitting still are not things that come naturally to most kids. So, don’t overwhelm them or yourself. Take it slow and be kind to yourself and your child. They may not be able to sit still for very long and that is fine. Start where they are and build on it.
You Are A Lion! And Other Fun Yoga Poses
Written By: Taeeun Yoo
Yoga is another fun way to create peace and calm. Yoga is great for kids because it promotes flexibility and focus, along with fun. This book is a simple book on basic yoga poses. It can be read cover to cover in one sitting. Each page has the name of a pose and a sentence on how to do it. The illustrations show kids doing each of the poses. It is simple, but fun. Kids love to get their bodies moving and doing something as a family can be even more fun! My kids really enjoy this simple book with easy to follow instructions on fun animal yoga poses.
The Sound of Silence
Written By: Katrina Goldsaito
Illustrated By: Julia Kuo
Yoshio stumbles upon a musician playing music and asks what his favorite sound is. The musician stops for only a moment to answer and says, “The Sound of Ma, silence.” Yoshio longs to hear silence, but he lives in a giant, noisy, busy city. Where will he ever find silence. He listens for it at the train station, on the playground at school, after his family finishes eating, and in the bathtub. But he can’t seem to find it. Everywhere this is noise. Everywhere there is chaos. However, one day he finds it and realizes it was there all along.
I like the book for helping kids realize that finding peace and creating calm is something we can make happen. Something that we can find, even when it seems impossible. Peace is around us, we just have to actually see it and savor it.
What To Do If An Elephant Stands On Your Foot
Written By: Michelle Robinson
Illustrated By: Peter H. Reynolds
This book is a little silly and not completely related. However, I like that it addresses the idea that one person’s actions can set off a chain of reactions. We often talk about how one person’s grumpy mood/angry words can leave a wake of upset people.
What do you do if and elephant stands on your foot? Do you wiggle? Do you scream? Well. try not to because you never know who or what you might disturb in the jungle.
No, David and David Gets In Trouble
By: David Shannon
Both of the books are great for teaching kids how their actions affect others and themselves. They also teach kids to find ways to be a peacemaker versus making havoc and creating crazy. We want our homes to be a place of peace and comfort, but if we can’t all control our actions, accept responsibility, and learn to listen our homes will not function and we will not feel peace.
David is naughty. He is leaving a wake of frustration in his path. He isn’t listening to his parents and he is doing things shouldn’t do. The childlike illustration style makes this a book kids can relate to and enjoy. It give good talking points on what peace is and isn’t in REAL LIFE practical situations.
David Gets In Trouble.
David doesn’t mean to get in trouble and it not even his fault most of the time. Most of the time it is just an accident. David blames anyone and anything for his actions, until he realizes that maybe somethings ARE his fault.
The Berenstain Bears Blessed Are The Peacemakers
By: Mike Berenstain
Most of the cubs at Bear Country School get along most of the time. But when rivals are cast opposite each other in the school play, Romeo and Grizzliet, Brother and Sister Bear have to decide if they should mind their own business or get involved as peacemakers to save the performance.
Great book for introducing the idea of what a peacemaker is or reinforcing the idea. This shows kids a real situation where they can choose to be peacemaker. It brings up a conversation on what peacemakers are and ALL the different times we can choose to be one. Wordy for toddlers, but a great message for older kids.