It might not be obvious by the intense discussion about the new iPad app or the lively debate about which show to watch or the giggling and yelling out directions to the new game that was created moments ago, but this is what our peace looks like.
Recently, I was following a discussion on being the peacemaker or the peacekeeper in your family and I felt this was a limiting definition. In the end, they posed the question to the group, “Are you a peacekeeper or a peacemaker?”
As I thought about the question and the layers that were beneath it, I concluded; I hope I am neither.
Those are roles I will not take on because both would have me be in a place of authority to exercise control.
If I am called to keep the peace, then I am controlling a situation, called to it, to make the conflict end.
If I am called to be a peacemaker, then I am controlling a person, called to make the person who is seen as disrupting the peace, stop what they are doing.
Controlling a situation, that is not in my control or controlling a person who isn’t mine to control.
I don’t want to be an enforcer of rules, a controller of thoughts, a stopper of emotions.
The ideal is to have an environment where this authoritative control isn’t there to keep or make peace.
For us, we negotiated it in several ways, but it is there and it’s often loud and getting to the peaceful plateau often takes a lot of expressions, which is loud. It’s fed often and freely.
When I think about “peaceful parenting”, lately I have been at odds with the term because I remember when my babies were tiny and so much mainstream messaging centred around how to keep my baby quiet or keep my toddler entertained so I could have peace and quiet and it makes me cringe.
“Peaceful” implies an impossible standard because “peace” is synonymous with “quiet”.
As if everyone is calm and quiet.
When you are striving for connection and maintaining it, it’s often a noisy expression of emotions. It’s not an outburst of emotion and then racing to try to shut it up, like in the peacemaker role, it’s an acceptance of the loud and uncomfortable and letting them be, to meet the needs, that are the undercurrents.
And it’s not a, “let’s do this all calmly and rationally” like could be said of the peacemaker role, but it’s an acceptance of the authentic and the honest and the opinions and giving those a space to be heard.
I doubt it will catch on, but I like the words “Harmonizing Parenting” because it implies multiple sounds coming together to create something, and for me, that’s a huge part of connected parenting, unschooling/self-directed learning.
… and for the record, I crave the “quiet” that the word “peace” brings to mind, frequently.