Dove with Branch
January 23, 2012 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

The World Emotional Literacy League has produced an emotional skills teaching program for education based on the programs that are currently being used in selected schools.

The CD contains: 1. Taking Control of Your Life an emotional skills training program designed for High school and Junior College Students. 2. Taking Control of Your Mind an emotional skills training program designed for Junior High and High School Students, and 3. My Checklist For Life, a Life Mapping/Personal Development program, which is designed as a lifetime personal development program for all students.

A complimentary copy of this CD is available for any educator who may have an interest in these programs. Contact me at with your name, title, and mailing address and I will send you a copy of the CD for review.

This weekly newsletter is available free by subscription. All copies for the year are available on my website. If you enjoy this newsletter and know someone who you think may enjoy it as well, please feel free to share it with them.

Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I frequently eat at a nice restaurant in our city. Often there are families eating there and their children are very noisy. This disturbs me, and makes my meal very unpleasant. I have asked the owner to speak to the parents, but he refuses. What can I do to make my dining more pleasurable? Should I speak directly to the parents? - Sarah in MO

Dear Sarah, You can speak to the parents. You need to remember however, that the children have as much right to be noisy as you have to be quiet. If the owner accepts that atmosphere as appropriate, then you must decide for yourself whether you wish to continue eating there. The thing that you have complete control over is where you eat, and whether or not you allow yourself to become upset when the children are noisy. You can tell the parents that you are upset by the noise, and ask them if they would help to make it more pleasant for you. Remember you have no right to quiet and are only asking for a courtesy. Explore the idea of enjoying their energy before you choose to eat elsewhere. Children add a lot of fun to the world for many people. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My mother-in-law pays more attention to my husband's sister's children than she does to ours. She talks about their great grades and how they are excelling in sports in front our children and even talks about how poorly our children are doing in school. She even asks why our children don't go out for sports. I am embarrassed for my children. How can I get her to stop doing this? - Laura in AZ

Dear Laura, First of all don't be embarrassed for your children. Life is not a contest where we judge the successes of our children against others. Our children should grow up to be who they want to be. Life is not an inter-family popularity contest. Your mother-in-law is entitled to like, or not like anyone she chooses. It is difficult to change her behavior and much easier to change the way you feel about it. Help your children (and yourself) understand that their self-esteem doesn't depend on her approval. - 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

Over the centuries we have fought many wars in the name of freedom. People become convinced that someone is controlling, or trying to control their freedom and they are willing to go to war to gain, or protect it. We think of freedom as a circumstance of our life rather than a quality of life. We often forget that freedom is more about how we feel than our actual limitations.

When we see ourselves as free then we are free, regardless of the circumstances of our condition. When we think we are free, then we refuse to be subjugated by anyone or anything. We can even be free when we are in jail if we are there because we have chosen the acts that put us there. Freedom is a state of mind not a circumstance of life.

Freedom is a quality of life that others cannot give or take away. It is the nature of who we are. We choose to be free or not, and are only subjugated when we accept not being free. Just because others in the past have accepted not being free does not mean that we must. We lose our freedom whenever we try to take it away from others, because that is based on the belief that people can be subjugated which is a belief that creates our own fear of subjugation. When we as individual humans truly embrace freedom, then war will no longer exist.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We use anger in disciplining our children because we become upset by what they do, and we then become angry at the situation and often the child. We then tend to mix our anger in with the lessons we are trying to teach the child. But when we mix the "lesson" with our anger, we end up teaching our child that it is okay to respond with anger to things that upset us. When we respond with anger, the child learns anger.

As parents we often don't even realize that we are using anger. The first step in dealing with your own anger as a parent is to become aware of how you feel when you relate to your children, especially to their mistakes or when they are not following the rules. When we respond out of love, the child learns love. If we are free of anger, we teach our children love, not anger. We give them a life of positive love-based emotions. Just knowing that you can raise your child without anger should be reason enough for you to put forth the effort to get rid of your own anger.

Learn to talk about feelings with your children. Find out what upsets them and why. Find out why they feel the way they do. Work with them to solve their problems and to release their anger. Even though their friends display anger, they can learn from you that they don't need to use it themselves. Teach them that they can be far more effective, and accomplish more as a person if they are not controlled by fear and anger. Teach them how not to have fear and anger. You may need to learn this lesson for yourself before you can teach it to your children.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about your love for your children.

Tuesday: Think about the life values you believe are important for your children to learn.

Wednesday: Think about the effect fear and anger have on your children's lives.

Thursday: Think about the times you get angry with your children.

Friday: Think about the times you use anger or fear to control your children.

Saturday: Remember that you must be what you want your children to become.

Sunday: Think about the changes you must make in your parenting for your children to become joyful adults.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of Life Without Anger 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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