When a child is acting out at school, detention is usually the go-to punishment for teachers to maintain control. However, one primary school in the U.S. is taking an alternative approach, and use meditation as an alternative way to monitor behaviour.
At Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore, Maryland, kids aren’t sent to stand by a wall or to sit in lunchtime detention if they behave badly. Instead, they pay a visit to the ‘Mindful Moment Room’.
The ‘Mindful Moment Room’ is decorated with lamps, decorations and purple cushions, and pupils are encouraged to take deep breaths, meditate or lie down. The aim of this is to get them to calm themselves down after an outburst.
Since the beginning of last year, the school has not suspended any students at all.
The room was created in partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation, a local charity.
Kirk Philips, the school’s Holistic Me coordinator, said about the ‘Mindful Moment Room’:
‘It’s amazing. You wouldn’t think that little kids would meditate in silence. And they do.’
Of course, the kids don’t have to misbehave in order to access the room. Students have regular yoga and meditation sessions after school, a program called ‘Holistic Me’.
At the school’s Christmas party, the little ones meditated before they received their presents.
‘As a little kid, that’s got to be hard to sit down and meditate when you know you’re about to get a bag of gifts, and they did it!’ said Mr Philips.
‘It was beautiful, we were all smiling at each other watching them.’
It’s definitely starting to catch on, with students accompanying their teachers to nearby schools to teach other students how to practice mindfulness.
One Year 6 student summed up how practising meditation and yoga makes them feel:
‘Sometimes when I get mad I just breathe deep… I just, like I picture me being in a certain place I like, and I just thought I could overcome everybody and then I just stop being mad…I think of being a bigger person and doing something maybe a wise man would do… I think of something that a stronger, a mentally stronger person would do.’
Well that’s certainly a different approach, what do you think? Would this work in your kids schools? Comment below…