Meditation: an Alternative to Punishment for Children
Learn about the Mindfulness Room, a place for meditation instead of punishment at an American Elementary School. You'll be amazed by what they discovered.
What would happen if we let children meditate instead of punishing them?
We have been following the same discipline regime for many years to try to make children learn from their mistakes.
However, such punishments have lost credibility. Now, children laugh every time they stand facing the wall or copy “I will not speak in class again” a hundred times.
Society is moving forward, people are changing, and education and the way we teach are changing.
Now, it’s time to use one of the methods that helps adults (and now children) a lot.
It’s time for meditation.
The mindfulness room
This ingenious proposal happened at an American school called the Robert W. Coleman Elementary School. The project was carried out together with the non-profit organization Holistic Life Foundation.
Here, teachers were encouraged to use meditation instead of punishment.
This special room where the children would go to if they didn’t behave well, didn’t do the homework or if they got into a fight, was called “the Mindfulness Room.”
You may wonder how this could succeed. In fact, the teachers themselves doubted the benefits of its application.
Children are very rebellious, so sitting, standing still and just breathing can be quite boring. However, the results of this project were surprising.
The principal of the school himself discovered that the students had improved their behavior, were less short-tempered and were able to reflect on their bad actions.
Meditation always helps
Meditation isn’t just about sitting quietly and thinking. It goes much further than this. It allows you to find yourself, to see how you’re feeling, think about your actions, and ponder your strengths and weaknesses, and so on.
Furthermore, it helps you to calm down and eliminate the stress that sometimes permeates our lives. It also distances us from anxiety and unwarranted concerns.
Children are also under great pressure.
Sometimes, the anger that causes them to fight with others or to rebel against their teacher has its origin in a series of activities that surpass them.
Let’s not forget that children need time to enjoy themselves. They, of course, need to be trained how to behave, but being continuously in class and going to various extracurricular activities can overwhelm them.
Many parents can meditate with their children at home. The problem is that they don’t have the time and they usually don’t bother to learn the precise techniques of this practice to carry it out.
However, what they don’t contemplate is that this practice is both necessary and very beneficial. It’s not a waste of time or something we could do without.
We often look down on meditation because it requires great concentration and an interest in truly knowing ourselves.
A modern solution
Of course, we continue to give very little thought to cultivating our inner self. Many consider yoga, meditation, and all other activities related to the most spiritual part of ourselves as nonsense.
What would you think if we could open our eyes to the benefits of meditation?
You’ll find some of the advantages of meditation benefit children from the first moment they begin to practice it:
- Children learn to be calmer and are able to control their outbursts. Even their temper tantrums will decrease noticeably.
- Not only does meditation allow them to be able to focus on the present, to forget the past and the future and to live in the now, but it also will help them keep their concentration in class.
- They will learn to enjoy and value the little things that they have around them and that they own. In addition, they won’t need to crave what they don’t really need.
- They’ll be able to empathize and better understand their friends as well as be more generous. They will put aside the selfishness that is so prevalent in children.
- They will get to know themselves better as well as discover how they feel and think. All this will help them to be aware that they sometimes don’t have to point the finger but have to take responsibility for their own actions.
- They’ll learn that mistakes push them to be better and that perfectionism is unattainable. This will enable them to have healthy goals without being frustrated and feeling disappointed.
Before you go read: Teach Children Happiness, Not Perfectionism
As you can see, adults could learn a lot from all these things that meditation teaches children.
Now comes the big question: Would you let your children meditate instead of punishing them?