WHAT IS PEACEMAKER PARENTING?


WHAT IS 
PEACEMAKER PARENTING?

Peacemaker Parenting is a model for parenting that is rooted in the teaching of Jesus and backed by modern neuroscience. It equips parents and caregivers to develop deeply connected and secure relationships with their children, and empowers them with tools and strategies to lead and guide their families with Jesus, and His grace, at the center.  
THE SIX PILLARS OF 
PEACEMAKER PARENTING
 
Jesus is our model for how to treat others, including our children.



Children fully bear the image of God, therefore they are worthy of the same dignity, respect, and honor as adults.
 

Our children are our smallest disciples, therefore discipline is modeled after the greatest disciplemaker: Jesus.



 
On the cross, Jesus bore the punishment that brought our peace. therefore we can discipline our children from a posture of peace, not punishment.



Only grace transforms hearts and lives, therefore discipline always reflects grace, and never removes or compromises affection, connection, or protection.



Modern neuroscience backs up what Jesus taught about relationships and how to treat others. It helps us better understand the blueprint of His image bearers that He has given us to nurture and raise.



THE FOUNDATIONS & FACTS BEHIND
PEACEMAKER PARENTING


Peacemaker Parenting is informed by five (?may change?) Scriptural Foundations and Five Neurological Facts. These Foundations and Facts work together to help us as parents establish our goals, values, and framework for parenting. 
Parenting as a peacemaker doesn't mean ignoring conflict with our children, silencing their voice in conflict, or abandoning them for conflict. It means stepping into their struggle and drawing on and imitating Jesus, and His peace-giving and peacemaking presence.

This is one of the core foundations for understanding the gift we give our children when we co-regulate with them. Jesus gives us His peace - He is the Source of peace! And we as parents infuse that into our relationships with our children, even, or perhaps, especially when, they struggle!

JESUS-CENTERED FOUNDATIONS #1
Because Jesus tells us "I will never leave you or forsake you." and "I am with you always." we can imitate Him and remain present, peaceful, and prayerful with our children, even in their misbehavior and struggles.


BRAIN FACTS #1
When a child is dysregulated (which presents as a tantrum, disrespect, defiance, attitude, etc) the learning centers of their brain are less active. If we want them to learn how to do better or behave differently, we must help them calm their brain and body so that they can actually learn the lesson we're trying to teach!

Parenting as a peacemaker recognizes that how and when we respond to and correct behavior matters! We often feel a sense of urgency to stop, fix, or correct behavior in the moment, and sometimes that may be needed. But in general, teaching and equipping with skills to do better is most effective when done outside the heat of the moment. (In the heat of the moment your primary job is staying calm and making sure your child is secure in your affection, connection, and protection.)
Parenting as a peacemaker means that we focus on our own behavior at least as much, if not more than we do our child's behavior. Why? Because we are only capable of submitting ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives - we cannot submit for our children. 
Jesus fulfilled the Law and Prophets, both becoming a perfect, spotless sacrifice, and living out God's expectations for humanity. We can echo Paul and say, "imitate me as I imitate Christ." (I Corinthians 11:1) 
JESUS-CENTERED FOUNDATIONS #2
Because Jesus became human and dwelt among us, to model for us God's plan for humanity, we can model for our children the behavior, conflict resolution, values, and self-discipline we hope to instill in them.
BRAIN FACTS #2
From infancy, children are wired with mirror neurons so that they learn by seeing and experiencing life with their caregivers. Mirror neurons are brain cells that respond not only by doing an action but by witnessing it in someone else. 


Parenting as a peacemaker recognizes that our children are designed to learn best by observing their caregivers and mimicking, or mirroring, what they see and experience.  This means that as we teach, guide, and discipline our children, it is vitally important that we model for them only what we are okay with them imitating! When we yell, get harsh, or use physical or emotional pain to manage their behavior, they will learn to do the same thing to manage other people! Conversely, when we model respect, collaboration, problem-solving, and healthy conflict resolution, they will learn to do the same.  

PEACEMAKING PILLAR: JESUS AS OUR MODEL
The life and teaching of Jesus matter! The perfect second person of the Trinity reveals to us God's original design for humanity. He fulfilled what no other person could: and in doing so He provides an example for us of how to live! We can confidently listen to His teaching and apply it to parenting:


Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Matthew 7:12

Love the Lord your neighbor as yourself.

Mark 12:31


PEACEMAKING PILLAR: CHILDREN FULLY BEAR THE IMAGE OF GOD
Respect is a birthright, not a reward. For those of us who claim the name of Jesus, the way we interact with our children should reflect a core theological belief: that our children bear the Image of God. When we lay this as our foundation for parenting, it radically shifts how we view respect. No longer is it a reward for good behavior. It is a birthright, born out of their divinely-given worth.


I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

Matthew 25:40


PEACEMAKING PILLAR: OUR CHILDREN ARE OUR SMALLEST DISCIPLES
Our children are our smallest disciples, and our relationship with them as parents is modeled after the greatest disciple-maker: Jesus. When it comes to teaching, leading, and disciplining, we imitate Christ, and seek to bear the fruits of His Spirit , even (or especially!) when they misbehave.


Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.

Galaians 6:1
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4


PEACEMAKING PILLAR: JESUS BORE OUR PUNISHMENT SO WE CAN DISCIPLINE WITH PEACE
Jesus bore the full weight of our punishment, therefore discipline is done from a posture of peace. We parent non-punitively, not because our children deserve it, but because our trust is in the completed work of Jesus on the cross. 



But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.

Isaiah 53:5

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

I John 4:18


PEACEMAKING PILLAR: ONLY GRACE TRANSFORMS HEARTS  AND LIVES
The message of the Gospel of Peace is that God enables His children to turn from sin by not holding it against them. There's nothing punishment can do that grace can't do better. How do we know this? Because if punishment were able to transform our hearts and lives, there would be no need for the cross.


For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God

Ephesians 2:8-9

And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.

John 1:16


PEACEMAKING PILLAR: MODERN NEUROSCIENCE BACKS UP JESUS' TEACHING
We have learned more about the human brain in the last 25 years than in all of human history combined - and one of the most remarkable things we've found is that science backs up and explains the teaching of Jesus about how to treat others!



I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.

Psalm 139:14

But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand.

Isaiah 64:8