School is a rough time for some kids. It is also a time when we form our personalities and behaviours. And those kids who develop non-ideal personalities and behaviours get disciplined. This can have a negative impact.
A school in Oklahoma is choosing instead, to associate discipline and even mental health problems with meditation.
“Meditation class was a response to a need to address mental illness in young children,” says Joanna Eldridge of Edgemere Elementary.
Joanna Eldridge, a special education teacher has been using meditation classes and yoga since 2016, to encourage a change of behaviour in her students. She says that the students can struggle in new environments, and therefore struggle in school. A meditation room can help these students, who feel overwhelmed. Unlike a punishement, this method of correction is a lot better.
“We talk about coping skills, strategies we can use as a response in specific situations to basically help them avoid certain behaviors and just replace them,” Eldridge explained.
It’s not punishing students; it’s helping them to replace behaviors they don’t want to have as a response to certain situations.”
Even as adults, we respond so quickly to certain triggers. If you forgot to buy coffee powder last night and woke up to realize it, we immediately over-react by stating that this day is going to be ruined. So there’s every incentive to get into the habit of not allowing our reactions get the better of us. This comes with the practice of meditation, even for young kids.
Many schools practice Quiet Time. It’s a place where children learn to focus or discipline their mind in a stress free or meditative environment. It isn’t boring when you explain the power of a focused mind, and relate that to the child’s goals.
If you’d like to encourage a little bit of meditation in your school, here’s EVERYTHING you need in order to do that: