A Baltimore school is transformed into news this week by implementing a system of ‘discipline’ for your students that does not include ‘enforcement’ (punishment of staying after the end of the school), but uses meditation to help the boys to focus, to calm down and review what it was that made them altered in the class.
Elementary school Robert W. Coleman Elementary already has spent two years carrying out this program, that you created along with the non-profit Foundation Holistic Life, and this week the portal Upworthy pulled out an article recounting the results of this new technique and what that means for the community of students and teachers of that school.
The program also teaches children about the environment and enables them to grow vegetables in the school campus and have your own farm. It also offers yoga and meditation classes for all classes.
Since the implementation of this initiative, the school has not had to suspend any student and according to Kirk Philips, the coordinator of the program, it is a spectacular experience in which the children are invited to the meditation room, that has cushions purple, to meditate and to relax, but also to talk about the episode of anger or anguish that lived in the classroom.
In conversation with Dads and Moms, Jennifer Cogburn, director of ‘SacredWaters’, a meditation center and Yoga in New York City, explained why the meditation in children is a form successful to help them solve their problems and give them the space that kids need to understand what has happened.
And no, it is not a ‘reward’ to their misconduct. “If you want to control your child, then you have to give a punishment, but if what you want is to help you grow, then you respond to his behaviour by offering him a way (meditation) in which they can talk about what they feel (anger, sadness, anger) and be able to relax and find your focus by themselves”, explains Cogburn, in response to those parents who fear that meditation is not the method for the students to understand the consequences of his misconduct.
“The science shows us all the time how the mind and the body go hand in hand and with the meditation, the children may find harmony, relax your body and calm your mind. And what can be done from the Kindergarten,” added the director of SacredWaters.
To expand the program to other schools
Cogburn explains that meditation programs in schools basically require that the directors decide to incorporate them, because teachers can be trained to help children meditate in a couple of days.
Cogburn himself has experienced the effects of meditation in schools. When he returned from his meditation course in India, she was invited by a school in Colorado to meditate with the students and many of the teachers and administrators were surprised with the results, especially with the fact that children with more behavior problems, were in turn more connected with meditation.
Mindful Schools, for example, is dedicated to that, to train teachers for the kids to be able to meditate in schools.
Mindful Schools was created in 2007 and these days offers courses online and in person to teachers and administrators of schools in all 50 states.
According to this organization, with meditation the boys benefit in many ways: they get better concentration, self-control, emotional strength, recognition of their emotions, the more compassion and calm, but also manage to relax your body and learn better.
Meditation at home
For those parents whose children do not have access to meditation classes in the schools, to try at home is always a good idea. Cogburn explains that the essential thing is not to force the kids to meditate, but rather to invite them to participate, being parents, the initiators of this routine.
“Meditation is something that parents can do and invite the children to participate, so it is much more possible that they connect, that if they are required as one more task to do it,” he explains.
It also suggests creating a ritual that will give them the idea to children that it is the time of meditation, either lighting a candle or oils, so that the guys know that for the next 10 or 20 minutes, their parents are going to meditate with them.
Parents can guide the meditation with voice, inviting the children to imagine they are birds, water, or that are in certain places, the important thing is to put in use all your senses, that is to say, imagine smells, textures, flavors, colors, and sounds.