How do you explain the French terrorist attacks to children? And how can you help them make sense and feel like they have control?
One way I feel we can honor those lost and provide a sense of control is to help them learn about listening, resolving conflicts and peace. The Girl Scouts Overseas in Paris has long had a Peace Patch program, and this may be the perfect time for our girls to work through some of the underlying themes of the program.
Topics covered in the patch program include:
- Learning listening skills. “One of the first steps in becoming a peacemaker is being a good listener. Play the Telephone Game many times until you can pass on a fairly detailed message.”
- Doing acts of kindness for our communities.
- Learning conflict resolution, including role-play and problem solving for conflicts the girls themselves have dealt with.
- Learning empathy and about others’ cultures.
- Understanding the struggles of refugees. “Put yourself in the shoes of a refugee child. What might your priorities be? Why? What are the priorities in your life? Think about the following: living space, food, water, sanitation, school and clothing.”
The Girl Scout Paris Peace Patch program isn’t one you could easily do in one meeting, but it’s one that could truly be a meaningful experience for your girls. I encourage you to check it out! Perhaps it can be part of your Thinking Day activities as well.
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