Smart Tools for Life specializes in books and music to guide children to peace literacy through social emotional learning and conflict resolution skills during their formative years
WILMINGTON, NC, November 08, 2017 /24-7PressRelease/ — The United States and North Korea appear to be on a collision course. The rhetoric escalates day after day, reminiscent of those schoolyard situations that start with name-calling or sand-kicking and often escalate to something worse. This is nothing new. What is new is that these two nations are not threatening to use sticks or stones or fists – the threat includes the use of nuclear weapons.
Julie Penshorn, children’s book author and CEO of Smart Tools For Life, is an expert in conflict resolution and anger management skills and techniques for children. She recently issued a statement that demonstrates that the basic skills we teach to small children are essential to adult interactions. These skills can routinely be practiced in every aspect of life: the home, the classroom, the workplace, and on the international level, to create trust, transform conflict, and enhance relationships.
“As we watch with worry the escalating rhetoric between the United States and North Korea, it’s easy to see that the two leaders involved are not working to gain the trust of each other,” Penshorn stated. “They are refusing to become conflict ‘partners’ committed to working out their disagreements in a way that preserves the dignity and safety of each party/nation.
“Neither President Trump nor Kim Jong Un demonstrate that they know how to stop and breathe, the first step in our simple conflict resolution process, detailed in the new children’s book, ‘The Barnyard Buddies STOP for Peace.’ Instead, they are putting untold numbers of people at risk,” continue Penshorn.
Writing for CNN last week, Adam Mount, a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, said, “. . . If the Trump administration can cease its careless threats, the US and its allies could begin a real conversation” about ways to improve the situation.
Penshorn said it doesn’t matter what your politics are; conflict is non-partisan. Life is much more peaceful when people use an effective conflict resolution process.
“We all have experienced the unhappy, frightening, or even dangerous situations resulting from conflicts where one, both, or all parties is clearly dangerous. If we reflect on those times, they usually are very similar: someone won’t stop his or her actions long enough to breathe and honestly examine how emotions like fear and anger are taking control from intelligent thought.
“Harvey Weinstein reportedly was asked many times to ‘Stop!’ Many of the women saying ‘me too’ also asked their accosters to stop,” Penshorn reminds us.
A new NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll shows that 48 percent of currently employed women in the United States say that they have suffered an unwelcome sexual advance or verbal or physical harassment at work.
“These actions are foreign in an atmosphere of caring and mutual respect such as we seek to develop in our classroom communities and our larger world,” said Penshorn. “Social and emotional learning is becoming an accepted part of preschool and elementary schools precisely so that we can learn to interact more successfully with others.
“So, while emotions give us important information and should not be discounted, they should not be acted upon without a period of thoughtful reflection and ‘cooling off,’ or, stopping,” summarized Penshorn.
In Penshorn’s new children’s book, “The Barnyard Buddies STOP for Peace,” the Barnyard Buddies start with the letter S – which stands for STOP and breathe, and then go through a complete conflict resolution process using the letters S-T-O-P.
This process, which works equally well for adults, according to Penshorn, continues to an examination of feelings and concerns of each party, through brainstorming solutions and ends with making a plan. The stated goal is to enhance relationships, develop creativity, and recognize that conflict doesn’t have to be a win/lose or, as in the case of Korea and the US, a lose/lose proposition.
The full statement can be viewed at http://www.smarttoolsforlife.com.
Author Julie Penshorn, MBC, is a co-director of the nonprofit, Growing Communities for Peace and director of its Smart Tools for Life project. Penshorn co-authored an earlier curriculum on conflict resolution, complete with hands-on-learning tools, that is in use in over 13,000 locations. Now, she’s focusing her unique talents on children’s books and music and a blog-based approach to supporting peace literacy and building a culture of peace.
The Smart Tools for Life products include kids’ books and music, conflict resolution cubes to help children express their feelings, and wearables. There is also a free, downloadable coloring page for kids, based on the flagship children’s book, ‘The Barnyard Buddies Stop For Peace.’
Penshorn is now making this book and music, and other unpublished books available for corporate sponsorships and as fundraising tools for like-minded schools and preschools. She asks that anyone who would like to learn more contact her by email.
Author Julie Penshorn is available for media interviews and can be reached using the information below or by email at [email protected]. More information about the books, music and other products is available on the website at http://www.smarttoolsforlife.com.
Smart Tools for Life is an ongoing project of the nonprofit, Growing Communities for Peace. It serves parents and educators by providing children’s books and children’s music, and makes it easy and engaging to bring state-of-the-art social skills like peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding, to young children, thereby encouraging more harmonious, sustainable relationships with others and the planet.
Their materials are designed to develop peace literacy as they educate, entertain, and empower all those involved to strengthen families, classrooms, and neighborhoods. They also provide other teacher and parent education to support and maintain a culture of peace.
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