Will you participate in sessions to learn practical strategies and tools, brain science, and most importantly the spiritual dynamics that must shift to obtain peace?
February 5-9, 2024, 1 hour per day
This challenge helps parents and educators help themselves and their children in: discerning their emotions; setting and reaching goals for peace; and overcoming anger, bullying, sibling rivalry, and victimization.
Parents, Homeschoolers, Educators, Schools
There can sometimes be spiritual blocks that keep kids from learning. I remember working with a second grader who started the year being extremely disruptive in class and had gotten suspended from school. Upon working with the students to equip them with strategies for overcoming the anger and frustration they’d experienced; their school year turned around, making that year the best year yet. When asking this student about the good change the parent, teacher, and even principal noticed concerning the student, they replied “I came to Dr. Polk’s class and she taught me how to pray and God changed my life.”
This student’s success was a team effort. First, the kid really did love the Lord and wanted to please him- he just didn’t know how. Second, I spoke with his mother and she agreed to withdraw him from participating in certain school-led activities that were blocking his connection to God. His teacher was on board with his discipleship and allowed him to come to the Peacemakers lab as needed. During my exit interview, the principal exclaimed “There's no doubt in my mind that Peacemakers works...[This is] a happy kid now!”
One day a Peacemaker student ran to me to describe an ah-mazing day of overcoming. First, they mentioned an incident on the playground with a classmate who was teasing them. The student reported initially retaliating by teasing the classmate. However, they then reported realizing what they were doing (the words they were saying) was wrong, and so they immediately repented to their classmate.
The student then discussed an incident during class where they were having some initial difficulty following directions from an educator. They described the incident as somewhat of a misunderstanding, but it became frustrating when their classmates kept laughing as if the student was intentionally being disrespectful. The student reported praying to ask God for the courage to do the right thing, and they were able to successfully remain calm and submitted. Lastly, the child reported getting a little upset when an educator threatened to take away the class' gym period. Again, the student reported praying to successfully keep themself calm. We thank God for this student’s progress.
This student still gets into a little trouble sometimes, but they have learned to recover themself peacefully by God’s grace. No more temper tantrums and fits of rage!
DAY 1: Tools for Peace
You will understand the basic spiritual tools for maintaining peace in all relationships. These are the foundational tools and practices we’ll use for the remaining classes.
Day 2: Identifying and overcoming madness/anger
DAY 3: Identifying and overcoming sleepiness/depression
DAY 4: Effectively administering righteous justice
DAY 5: Identifying and overcoming doubt, rebellion, and stubbornness
Dr. Tenickia Polk is a pastor, educator, life coach, and author. She is the pastor of Hope of the Generations Church, VA (an A.C.T.S. church), and the founder of Community of Thrivers, Inc. Dr. Tenickia embraces a Biblical approach to working with families and youth faced with challenges of anxiety, stress, depression, poor self-image, and several other health-related challenges. She holds a Doctoral degree in Christian Therapeutic Counseling and a Master of Education in Educational Technology. Dr. Tenickia’s healing approach is inspired by one of her favorite Bible passages, 3 John 2, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”
Some of the published works Dr. Tenickia has authored include: “Focus and Fun", "It’s Time to Thrive”, “J.O.G. (Just Obey God) to Your Blessings” book and life planner, “Jesus Juice for Health and Freedom,” “DIG Into Life” and more.
Q & A with Dr. Tenickia
Q1: Describe your knowledge of the principles and methods of pastoral care and counseling.
A1: I earned my doctorate in Christian Therapeutic Counseling, and I have provided pastoral care and counseling through our church, Hope of the Generations Church, VA. I am also the founder and director of Peace Makers Lab. The Peacemaker Lab aims to help youth maintain peace with God, themselves, and others when possible (Matthew 22:37-40). Youth sign up for counseling through the Lab as needed (one-on-one counseling, or no more than five youths using the Lab at a time to provide practical strategies for encouragement, and for dealing with conflict). Depending on the circumstances, some youth may come to the Lab for check-ins. Also, youth may be referred to the Lab by teachers and administrators if they witness any social or emotional challenges throughout the day.
Q2: Describe your techniques of counseling and interviewing:
A2: When providing pastoral counseling, I build a positive rapport with individuals and lead with love. I set clear expectations and goals with the families served. When appropriate, physical activity, fidgets, drawing, and journaling are used to help provide comfort during the interviewing process and facilitate tough discussions. Interviews are conducted using open-ended questions, compassion, and affirmation to promote personal reflection and confrontation.
Q3: Describe your ability to relate effectively with all levels of staff, youth, families, and communities.
A3: I founded and directed the Parents Peacemakers Camp, a series of conferences to teach Bible-based conflict resolution. Conferences are provided to equip families with tools for Bible-based conflict resolution with God, self, and others; how to deal with scorners; overcoming self-bitterness; overcoming anger; forgiveness; and more. I create activities to teach parents practical strategies that are designed to engage youth and families.
Through The 4:29 Project, I worked with youth to design and implement a fun and collaborative way to help youth replace derogatory language with language to edify God, ourselves, and others, based on Ephesians 4:29. Specifically, The 4:29 Project encourages youth to stop swearing or putting down themselves or others (this includes: gossiping, swearing, fighting, belittling and teasing). I introduce 4:29 to schools and communities through projects, events, and technology. I educate parents, youth, and staff concerning this initiative, interpreting to the staff the role of spirituality in delinquency. The success of 4:29 is contingent upon the input and execution of parents and school staff, promoting continued collaboration."
Q4: Please describe your ability to listen, understand, and minister to the specific spiritual needs of persons.
A4: When counseling, individuals are encouraged to share challenges and concerns. They may also be provided with customized goal-tracking sheets based on their needs.
A principal noted how well the Peace Makers Lab has been working in their school. Specifically, he noted how one troubled youth’s life has been drastically changed due to the counseling through the Peacemakers Lab. “He’s happy now!” the principal exclaimed.
Here is a counseling testimonial from an adult at church: “I first met Pastor Tenickia about a year ago at her church. We have gotten to know each other during that time and I have shared some of my struggles in overcoming sin. This is the first time I have known a Pastor on a personal level and it has been a great experience. Something she has counseled me in is overcoming fear and guilt when I sin. She has been patient and gentle with me in dealing with this and has offered great biblical counsel when I share with her. Every time we talk I experience lower levels of fear and anxiety.”
I learned how to effectively handle situations that arise between my children and myself.
Participation in the Peacemakers Lab was of great benefit to many scholars in our school, and I had the opportunity to witness its impact on the disposition of one scholar in particular. This scholar initially had significant difficulties in the morning; during school-wide morning assembly/ prayers, he was often combative and did not participate in the prayers. The morning often began on a rough note, which could have negative implications for the rest of his day. As this scholar's classroom teacher, I was having difficulty getting to the root of these difficulties. Leveraging a previous relationship from the previous school year, Dr. Polk offered this scholar the option of spending time in the Peacemakers Lab each morning (after assembly/prayers) so that she could work with him individually and/or in a small group. Gradually, through discussion and writing activities, his morning disposition began to change; he participated in morning prayers, and completed his classroom morning routines in record time so that he could "go see Dr. Polk." He would return to the classroom refreshed, focused, and ready to get on with the learning of the day.As the year went on, and other [behavioral] challenges arose, Dr. Polk patiently worked with this scholar and his family to get to the root of these challenges. She equipped him with specific strategies that could help him calm down when angered and worked tirelessly to help him overcome bitterness, unforgiveness, and self-hatred/accusation in age-/developmentally-appropriate ways. While this scholar was only one of many on her caseload, Dr. Polk always found time to debrief and problem-solve with me to make sure that we were aligned in our approach.
Without a doubt, the Peacemakers Lab provided an invaluable support system for a scholar who benefitted from an extra dose of encouragement each day. He knew that Dr. Polk loved and cared for him, and that made all the difference.
As parents, we have our learned ways of parenting, but having another view and perspective is helpful…especially a Godly perspective for better ways to interact with children and others, allowing us to continue walking in peace.
How the Peacemakers Challenge Works
Challengers will meet on Zoom from 7 p.m.-8 p.m. EST during each day of the challenge. Each night you will receive homework assignments to practice the skills you've learned. A recording of the presentation will be available for a limited time in case of an emergency that will cause you to miss a day. Time will be set aside for each class for Q&A.