Remember detention? It was the ‘hard time’ of the schoolyard, where you’d be subject to solitary confinement or forced to sit silently with a group of equally disobedient children. It was a time spent trying to chat to your neighbour and dwelling on your dislike for the disciplinarian that sent you there, not “learning from your mistakes.”
That’s why this elementary school in Baltimore, MD, decided to swap detention for meditation. Instead of being sent to the detention room—or Principal’s office— misbehaving students at Robert W. Coleman Elementary are asked to visit the Mindful Moment Room. Complete with lamps, decorations and plush purple pillows, the room encourages kids to sit still, meditate or practise breathing exercises, in the hopes that they’ll begin to learn how to deal with stressful or rowdy moments—instead of acting up.
The meditation room was created as a partnership with the Holistic Life Foundation, a local nonprofit that runs after-school mindfulness programs for kids. “It’s amazing,” Kirk Philips, the Holistic Me coordinator at Robert W. Coleman Elementary, tells Upworthy. “You wouldn’t think that little kids would meditate in silence. And they do.”
When you think about it, detention and meditation are not too dissimilar. They both involve sitting quietly, managing thoughts and often repeating mantras—it’s just one is inside the head while the other is scribbled down 1000 times. But meditation involves a lot more positive reflection so it’s no surprise that the program has yielded such incredible results: there have been zero suspensions since its initiation over a year ago…you can’t argue with that. If you’re a newbie to meditation, like these youngsters, get started with these mindfulness apps, book yourself in for a beginner course or try the 5-minute meditation below. Still can’t get into it? Why not try gratitude training instead? It’s meant to be just as beneficial.