Most schools continue to discipline unruly children with punishments and loss of privelages as a method of “negative reinforcement” to deter people from breaking rules. Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore has removed detention and replaced it with meditation.
This new holistic approach to disciplining students means that when a child misbehaves, they are sent to The Mindful Moment Room where they will be able to wind down and meditate. The Mindful Moment Room is a brightly colored “oasis of calm,” and looks nothing like the drab and uninspired detention rooms typically used to punish unruly kids. The new policy has been in place for almost 2 years, and in the time that the meditation room has been set up, there has actually been no suspensions.
It is part of an after-school programme called Holistic Me, an initiative that teaches children to practice mindful meditation and breathing exercises and also encourages children to talk to behavioral professionals. The programme works in partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation, a Baltimore-based nonprofit organization committed to nurturing the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities.
There are many advantages to meditation, which are now being confirmed by scientific studies. Meditation can relieve pain, enhance creativity, relieve stress and boost immune systems.