Imagine a school where kids are being taught mindful practices. Well… it exists!
I wasn’t the best-behaved child in school; in fact, I was one of the first in my year to get a detention, which consisted of writing lines about remembering to do my homework. Writing lines developed into after school detentions, and the trips to the head and so on and so forth.
Now, a school in Baltimore, Maryland is breaking the norms of dealing with unruly children. Instead of giving them punishments, they have provided a Mindful Moment room for children who act out in school, allowing them to calm down and collect themselves by doing mindful practices.
The Mindful Moment room is a concept that has been developed by the Holistic Life Foundation, a non-profit foundation that has been working on the mental development of children for 15 years.
The Mindful Moment room is a safe place for upset children where they are taken through different yoga-like and mindful practices, such as different breathing methods. After the child has calmed down enough, a staff member talks through the issue with them and why they felt the way they did, and how they can remember to stay calm if a similar situation arises again in the future.
Normally, this takes around 20 minutes, and the child feels a lot calmer and more supported than if they were to be made to endure a time out or a detention.
Mindful practices have remarkable effects
The outcome is that children are much calmer and learn to deal with negative situations much more effectively in the future. The school has had no suspensions since 2013, and by 2016, there was a marked reduction in the number of students that needed to be sent to the Mindful Moment room.
Moreover, this kind of processing of emotion can help children to develop their cognitive abilities as well as their emotional intelligence, setting them up to be much more successful in their future careers.
As well as the children feeling much better and dealing with their emotions in more constructive ways, the effects have filtered through to parents. Children are eager to show their moms and dads the tricks and techniques they have learned, which in turn teaches the parents how they can deal with negative situations in their day-to-day lives. This can have hugely beneficial effects on the health of the parent and child, promoting good heart health and reduced blood pressure.
Meditation many not be the solution to everything, but it can definitely help our children to form and develop better management skills over their emotions and reactions.