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Introduction

“This may be the most important book you will ever read.”
--Michele Borba, Ed.D., author of Building Moral Intelligence


HOPE AND HEALING:
Peaceful Parenting in an Uncertain World


“Together, we truly can build a better world, and Naomi Drew shows us how in this inspiring and practical book. Every family seeking hope and healing will find it there.”
--Meg Cox, author of The Heart of a Family: Searching America for New Traditions That Fulfill Us


BY MAKING YOUR HOME A ZONE OF PEACE, YOU CAN INSTILL IN YOUR CHILDREN THE RESILIENCE TO OVERCOME ANY ADVERSITY.

The events of September 11, 2001, and those that have followed, present a new set of dilemmas for today’s parents. In such an uncertain world, how can we provide our children with the feelings of hope and safety they need to truly flourish?

HOPE AND HEALING meets this challenge head-on, offering practical advice for families dealing with the stress of life’s trials while outlining simple, wise ways to transform our homes into the kinds of safe havens where both children and parents can find nourishment and affirmation. In this book, readers will learn invaluable strategies for cultivating hope and healing in the family:

  • Dealing with difficult emotions: healthy ways for parents and children to express fear, anger, anxiety and grief.
  • Ways to attain calm, and to cope through challenging times.
  • The healing power of a peaceful home – how to create one for your family.
  • The empowerment of reaching out to make a difference.

With decades of experience in public education – plus the hands-on experience of raising two sons as a single mother – Naomi Drew’s ideas are as realistic as they are inspiring, offering a lifeline to every family in need of hope and healing.

Are there reasons to be hopeful about the future?
Yes. For the first time since human beings have evolved, we are linked across the globe through technology. We have the ability to use this technology to communicate, learn more about each other, and create solutions to the problems that face all of us. I’m in touch with people from all over the world, and one thing I know for sure is that parents everywhere want peace for their children. Now it’s time to use our resources to create it. That is the greatest opportunity of the new millennium.

According to Harvard’s Project on Preventing War, we actually have at our disposal the tools to create peace, but what most stands in the way of using them is our fatalistic belief that war is inevitable. This is a fallacy. Throughout much of our history, people have coexist in relative peace. Yes, we have had our share of wars, but there have been more years of peace than of war.

Sadly, the past 100 years have been the bloodiest in history. But we have the capacity to turn that tide. We need to look at peace as a personal issue as well as a global one, and see ourselves as part of the solution.

Who better to speak out than parents. It is our children’s future at stake, and it’s time for all of us to get involved.


What is the most important advice you can give to parents right now?
Live your most important priorities. We’ve gotten so caught up in our busy lives that we’ve lost sight of the most important things: connection, peace, and compassion. The anniversary of Sept. 11th calls us to be kinder, wiser, more loving, and more involved. This is our opportunity to transform fear into positive change. It’s like lighting a candle in a darkened room. We can be that candle.

We need to take better care of our internal well-being and do the same for our children. So many children and adults suffer from stress and anxiety. We must allow our kids to be kids, to have some down time, to daydream and reflect. It’s time to start removing some of the tumult from our lives.

Also, express care and empathy toward others, and teach your children to do the same. There is an epidemic of cruelty in this country, and the place to start changing it is right in our own homes. 160,000 children a day miss school for fear of the way they will be treated by their peers. We must teach, model, and expect kindness and care from out kids. Then we need to reinforce it when we see it. Model, expect, reinforce - that’s the key.

Lastly, make expressing altruism a family affair. Reach out and help others. Inequity, poverty, racism, and hunger are some of the roots of violence. What can your family do to address these issues? Keep in mind that each time you get involved, you expand your sense of hope and empowerment.

You write about The Race to Peace. Can you explain what that is?

The Race to Peace is the most important race we’ll ever be in. The hard truth is that we’re running out of time. As we speak the arsenals of nuclear weapons are growing, and it is only a matter of time before they are used. Regular people need to link together in this common theme, one that needs to become part of every-day consciousness. Parents are the most important people to speak out on this issue, because it’s our children’s futures that are at stake.

The Race to Peace stands on one simple premise -- that peace will be reached through small concrete steps taken by large numbers of committed people. If each person makes a commitment to taking action steps toward peace once a day, once a week, or even once a month, the race to peace can be won.

The Race to Peace is a way for individuals to get involved through five different areas: have specific websites that I can recommend:
- Ending Hunger and Homelessness
- Ending the Production of Nuclear Weapons
- Eliminating Gun Violence
- Building Tolerance and Equity
- Local or Global Action for Peace

A guiding ethic for every family needs to be this: We have the power to create peace in our world through our actions. It starts with each of us -- right in our homes.


 

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