Dove with Branch
July 13, 2009 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I have always been very attentive to my children's needs. We provide them with the things that most other kids have. We always attend their events. They don't show any appreciation for all that we do. When they want something, they won't take no for an answer. They even scream at us and call us dreadful names. Why is this happening to us? - Kate in VA

Dear Kate, Because you let it happen! You are your child's teacher. They have learned how they can and should act from the lessons that you have taught them. They act the way they do because that kind of behavior works for them. If you want them to be different you must teach them new lessons. It will be more difficult now because they must unlearn the old lessons. It is important for your children to learn to make choices that are in their own long term interest, rather than whatever works at the moment. They need to learn new strategies for dealing with life. And they need to learn them from you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I provide my daughter with the latest fashions. She sets the trends for the other kids. The problem is that she doesn't seem to appreciate what I do for her. She doesn't keep her clothes clean and will be careless in play and sometimes ruins them. How can I get her to respect what I do for her? - Nancy in CA

Dear Nancy, The first question you should ask yourself is, "who are you doing this for?" You want your daughter to be a certain way and set an example that she may not care to be. Supporting her to do her thing is helpful but pushing her to do your thing can cause a lot of problems for both of you. I suggest you talk with her and find out what she wants to do and be. Support her in what she wants. We have learned that molding a child to our wishes is not always good for the child. Give her a chance to become her own person - and love her for it. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437, or visit to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

We almost all agree that we would like to create a more peaceful society than exists at present. We would prefer not to use war to achieve our goals. We have not figured out how to do that however, so we continue to go to war, both to protect ourselves and to achieve our interests. Let's set aside the more difficult question of war as a means of self- protection, and think about the use of war as a means of achieving what is in our own self-interest.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell which is which when we try to look to the future. If we ask ourselves the question, "will I lose my freedom if I do not act now?" and the answer is no, then it is too soon to go to war. We still have time to seek a peaceful resolution to our problem. If we make war truly a last resort in getting or maintaining our freedom we will prevent a lot of wars.

We have a bill before congress that has received the endorsement of sixty-nine congressmen to create a Department of Peace. Not only will it save lives, it will also save huge amounts of money and increase our quality of life. We can learn to start using open negotiation instead of threats and intimidation to resolve our differences. All we have to give up is having it our way all the time. Let's support this legislation to create a Department of Peace with the assigned task of looking for peaceful solutions to both personal and national conflicts. Visit if you want to learn more about the Department of Peace legislation.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Children need to learn boundaries. They must learn the rules of our society. Teach them these things with love. Permissiveness is not love. And assertiveness is not anger. Model love for them, and they will see the value in not being fearful or angry. Remember, your child needs values, your time, and love; not things. Worthwhile values are imparted when you parent with love. The reward for this style of parenting is a happy and independent child with whom you will have a loving relationship for the rest of your life. Always, always, remember to treat your children with love.

Never accept anger from your child as appropriate behavior. Children learn to use anger when it is effective for them. They will keep using it as long as it works. Part of our job, as a parent is to not allow anger to be effective for our children. It is our job to show them a more effective way to deal with their problems. Whenever your child is angry, lovingly demonstrate to him or her that it is not appropriate behavior. Teach your child to find a more effective way of dealing with problems. As soon as your child is old enough to communicate verbally, teach them about expressing and dealing with their feelings.

Our children learn fear when we teach them that the world is a dangerous place, and that they must be fearful of dangerous things in order to protect themselves. Learn to teach them that this is a wonderful world in which good things happen when we are trusting and alert. Teach them to pay attention to provide for their well being, knowing that doing the best they can, will be enough.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the love you have for your children.

Tuesday: Recognize that you want your children to have a happy and enjoyable life.

Wednesday: Recognize that your children learn their lessons in life from you.

Thursday: Remember that if you model anger, your children will learn anger.

Friday: Recognize that if your child makes a mistake it is because he/she has not yet learned the lesson.

Saturday: Resolve to teach your children how to correct their mistakes in a loving way.

Sunday: Resolve to teach your children to love and trust the world.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at:

Additional Notes

The World Emotional Literacy League in conjunction with World Without Anger and Lumbini Buddhist University has taken on the task of introducing emotional literacy training in the educational system of Nepal nationwide. In support of that program I will be conducting workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops will provide an introduction to the emotional skills training program as well as an introduction to establishing emotional skills training programs in your local area. The program and my workshops are based on my textbook "Emotional Intelligence - Taking Control of Your Life."

I have taken on the task of supporting the teaching of emotional skills training in the educational system with the trust and hope, that many in your community will be able to share in the vision of this great work, and join us in this amazing project. We are promoting a "Sponsor a School" program to raise awareness and support throughout the U.S. & Canada If you have any interest in the program and/or having a workshop in your area. Contact me for additional information.

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