Peace in the Family

Peace in the Family: Stories and Skills to Build Healthy & Peaceful Families

with Opalanga and Susan Kaplan, M.S.W.

An Applied Storytelling and Skill Building Progam - to support  families & build community.

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Peace In the Family is a multicultural family program which helps build healthy and stronger families. Peace & nonviolent skills are brought alive through stories and interactive activities.

Each family education session begins with Professional Storytellers sharing stories. Drawing upon these stories, peacemaking and nonviolent skills are taught through hands-on-activities, interactive discussion, and experiential exercises.  Families are invited to share their stories in this informative and playful program.

Families learn skills as a family and build relationships with other families from their community.

Peace in the Family - Pima County LibraryPeace in the Family - Pima County Library












Four Critical Building Blocks are used in this innovative program:

Rituals and Traditions -building a strong foundation for your family.
Researchers have found that the strongest families have the highest frequence of rituals and traditions, i.e. eating meals together, family celebrations of birthday and rites of passages, and regular conversations such as family meetings and catching up on the day. These bring closeness and unity to the family

Communication - using interactions to build relationships with one another.
The process of telling your stories to each other helps bring your family together as you laugh, remember, understand, listen, and share your lives. How you use words can either
build your family up or tear it down.

Playing Together - nourishing playfulness and release in daily life.
Play helps families to lighten up and build emotional bank accounts. Escape the trap of daily task oriented communication by nurturing joy and releasing stress together. Cooperation and respect are easy to learn when you feel connected to other family members.

Restoring Balance - solving problems by moving through conflict and anger.
Conflict is inevitable, violence is not. All families have disagreements at times. Having the skills to navigate through upset restores balance and gives us an opportunity to build our relationships while we solve problems. Getting unstuck allows families to create the
family life they want to live.

Available Program Options:
There are a variety of models in which this program can be applied. Customized to fit the needs of your specific community or organization, this program can include the following options:

Introductory Session or In-depth Series
  • Single session covering all four building blocks
  • Four to eight session series, with in-depth sessions on
    • rituals & traditions
    • communication
    • playing together
    • restoring balance


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Range of Children's Ages - Four years old to teenagers!

  • Peace & story centers with hands-on activities for younger children
  • interactive & engaging activities for older children

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Additional add-ons

  • Peace Day
  • Peace Artist in Residency
  • Storytelling Training
  • Bilingual storytellers & trainers
  • Peace Education Training
  • Literacy - Reading & Writing
  • Additional Professional Storytellers
  • Community Building Facilitation

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Public or Private Settings

  • School settings
  • Literacy based programs
  • Parent & Family programs
  • Child Care Centers
  • Community groups
  • Congregations
  • Libraries
  • Neighborhood Centers


Compliments Other Programs: Title 1 Literacy  -  Life Skills Training - Parent Education Programs - Second Step - Don't Laugh At Me - Bully Proof - Character Development - Peace Programs - Community Building - Assets & Strength Based Models - and More!

Here are some comments from past participants:
"I learned how to use play to resolve conflict and how to have more peace in the family"
JoAnn, parent

"I learned the power of story in creating connection."
Bob, parent

"I learned lots about the way to handle anger. I like that it made you feel so special."
Anna, teenager

"I liked the experience of peaceful and honest interaction and the storytelling."
Rose, parent

"I liked the different stories...wish it was longer!"
Juan, teenager

"I loved the stories! Wish we could listen to stories all the time."
Alicia, 10 years old

"I learned a couple of things today about how to walk away when sometimes somebody makes me mad and how to deal with that."
Thomas, student

"I saw how the stories opened up a chance to deepen the articulation of caring connection amongst this community."


Opalanga in a Communication ExerciseOpalanga in a Communication Exercise