Traditionally when children act up in school, they would get detention or they get suspended. An Elementary School in Baltimore has a far healthier approach to discipline.
Robert W. Coleman Elementary has Partnered with the Holistic Life Foundation, changing its approach, and instead of punishing the disruptive children, they have employed the Mindful Moment program.
The program teaches the children to wind down and reflect, as well as breathe in tough situations.
My recollection on detention was writing lines or just staring at the walls, totally bored.
Disruptive children are sent to the Mindful Moment room where there is staff that has the necessary training to help students with stress, anxiety, and other issues that may cause them to act up. Students are allowed to stop by the room on their own accord as well.
For the students that have been referred there by teachers, the specialists would spend about 5 minutes in targeted discussion and then a further 15 minutes with them doing appropriate mindful exercises, which could range from breathing to simple yoga exercises.
The Mindful Moment help students overcome the trauma they might have faced, which causes them to act out. Some of these students have seen violence, even seen people get murdered. The Mindful Moment helps them be aware and release it, by arming them with the tools to let it go.
This is awesome, as the program is not only helping the students but their home life as well, as many of the kids are teaching their parents to breathe out their stress and tension.
The school plays Mindful Moment audio over the loudspeaker every morning and afternoon to start and end their days calmly.
The program also helps mentor and tutor the children, as well as teach them about the environment.
How awesome is this, since the Mindful Moment program started, not a single student has been suspended. This 15 min breathing exercise, meditation helps the children to focus and recalibrate.
A nearby school, Patterson Park High has also used the Mindful Moment program and said that the suspension rates have dropped and attendance has increased.
Studies have shown that meditation can enhance creativity, relieve stress and pain, even boost immune systems.
Not only is this for the students, but the teachers may also be involved too.
More info: Holistic Life Foundation
More schools should consider this alternative approach, rather than strict punishment, especially in high crime areas.