Dove with Branch
May 21, 2007 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Hello! - Dean Van Leuven

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I come home from a stressful day at the office and a long commute. By the time I get home I have nothing left to give. My family wants my attention but I am in need of some quiet time. They seem to forget that my job is essential if they are going to have all the things that they want. How can I get them to respect my need for quiet time when I get home in the evening? – Harried Father

Dear Harried Father, You explain your need to them in such a way that they will be able understand and respect it. They will wait another 30 minutes if they know you will be giving them your attention. I suggest before you do that you look at other aspects of this. The stress and tiredness from your job are self-induced, and for your own sake you would do well to change that. Ask yourself if the toys you provide for your children are more important than a loving family. When you are stressed you model stress and upset for your children. Maybe you will find getting rid of the stress more helpful and time with the family more valuable than possessing toys. – the Dean

Dear Dean, My husband works in a dead end job with not enough pay to provide an adequate standard of living. I am driving a ten year old car to take my kids to activities. They have to wear the same clothes a couple times a week. They don’t have the money to eat out with their friends. It is embarrassing! I tell him to get a promotion or find another job, but he is happy where he is. He says he wants to be able to enjoy the children as they grow up and this job allows him to do that. How can I motivate him to find a better job? – Loraine in Dallas

Dear Loraine,Threaten to leave him? But I wouldn’t recommend that. Try considering yourself lucky to have a husband who loves his family. Try reassessing your values. You have enough to satisfy everything but your ego. If you can’t find a way to be happy with what your husband is providing then find work that will provide the extra self-esteem that you need. – the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: P.O. Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

It seems that when we perceive that our government is doing something wrong we start a resistance movement to stop it. Probably the most notable at this time is the war in Iraq. We are marching almost weekly to try to create pressure to bring the troops home. We don’t like what is going on and we want it to stop so we “fight” to end the war. Our solution when we don’t like what is going on is just to put up resistance until change is made.

The problem with resistance is that it works to stop the harmful conduct without offering a positive solution to the problem. If we want to have peace and stop wars not only must we stop wars, we must also discover a way to live in peace. If we focus on creating peace, then not only can we find a way for the war to end, but we can also create conditions so that future wars are unnecessary. We must change the thinking that causes us to use war as a way to resolve conflict, before we will stop using war as a way to have our way in the world.

When Mother Teresa was asked to march against war she refused saying, “call me when you are marching for peace.” We admire her thinking and her way of being. Let’s recognize the value of her thinking. We will quit using war as a tool to settle disputes when we recognize that there are better ways to settle our differences. Why squander our lives and our resources when there are better solutions available to us? Let’s no longer use war as a tool of diplomacy to solve our problems. We can instead use some form of mediation to solve our problems and end up friends with our relationships and resources still in tact. We can and should make war only our tool of last resort for self-protection.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We use anger in disciplining our children because we become upset by what they do, and we then become angry at the situation and often the child. We then tend to mix our anger in with the lessons we are trying to teach the child. But when we mix the “lesson” with our anger, we end up teaching our child that it is okay to respond with anger to things that upset us. When we respond with anger, the child learns anger.

As parents we often don’t even realize that we are using anger. The first step in dealing with your own anger as a parent is to become aware of how you feel when you relate to your children, especially to their mistakes or when they are not following the rules. When we respond out of love, the child learns love. If we are free of anger, we teach our children love, not anger. We give them a life of positive love- based emotions. Just knowing that you can raise your child without anger should be reason enough for you to put forth the effort to get rid of your own anger.

Learn to talk about feelings with your children. Find out what upsets them and why. Find out why they feel the way they do. Work with them to solve their problems and to release their anger. Even though their friends display anger, they can learn from you that they don’t need to use it themselves. Teach them that they can be far more effective, and accomplish more as a person if they are not controlled by fear and anger. Teach them how not to have fear and anger. You may need to learn this lesson for yourself before you can teach it to your children.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about your love for your children.

Tuesday: Think about the life values you believe are important for your children to learn.

Wednesday: Think about the effect fear and anger have on your children’s lives.

Thursday: Think about the times you get angry with your children.

Friday: Think about the times you use anger or fear to control your children.

Saturday: Remember that you must be what you want your children to become.

Sunday: Think about the changes you must make in your parenting for your children to become joyful adults.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Notes
 

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Dean Of Peace | P.O. Box 535 | Elmira | OR | 97437