The PeaceWise Program and Encouragement Awards
Whether this is your first year with us, or your seventh year with us, there is a very high likelihood that you have heard your child talk about PeaceWise. PeaceWise is a program that we use across our whole school to explore the principles of conflict resolution that are taught in the Bible. We learn that repentance, confession and forgiveness are central to conflict resolution. I say ‘we’ because these principles apply to all of us – students, staff and parents.
The children are very familiar with a diagram called the Slippery Slope. It is divided into three sections. These three sections are divided into three further sections – giving a total of nine ways people can respond to conflict. Two sections are “danger zones”. The section I want to highlight today are the Work-It-Out responses. This section helps us to stay on top of conflict and these responses are found at the top of the curve.
Response 1: Overlook an Offense
You deal with the offense by yourself. You simply decide to forgive and walk away from the conflict. Forgiveness is the key.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13
Response 2: Talk It Out
This involves going directly to the other person and talking it out together. We confess our own wrongs and kindly and respectfully point out the other person’s wrongs. This response is to be used if you can’t overlook what the other person did.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there at the front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24
Response 3: Get Help
When the conflict is difficult, ask someone else to help you decide how to handle the conflict so it doesn’t get worse. You can ask someone else to meet with both of you and talk together to find a solution to the problem. If the conflict cannot be resolved this way, then a person in authority can decide the solution.
But if they will not listen, take one or two others along so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. Matthew 18:16
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. Ephesians 4:29
If you would like further information on our PeaceWise program, your child’s homeroom teacher will be able to help you. You can also find the Slippery Slope diagram on the back cover of your child’s diary.
Let’s be peace makers.
Jodie Vamplew, Head of Primary