Detention is for bad kids.
But in reality, there are very few bad kids. There are kids who are angry, frustrated, misunderstood, stressed and lonely. Many of these kids don’t have a safe place to deal with these feelings, so often, this pressure builds up inside them until they lash out. And end up in detention.
A school in Baltimore, Maryland has replaced detention with guided meditation. They start every day with it, and use it to offer kids a place to decompress, breathe and deal with their feelings. According to Andres Gonzalez, who introduced the programme, “When you’re ever in a heightened scenario, whether its anger, stress, frustration, your heart rate increases, and so if you’re able to use your breath to slow everything down, you’re not as impulsive, you’re not as reactionary and you’re able to respond to whatever scenario happens to present itself”. The school say that since they’re introduced this approach, test scores have improved, behavior has been better and they haven’t had a single suspension.
Earlier this week, primary schools in Limerick introduced a similar approach for their mindfulness week. But can we please make this the norm in every school, every day?
If you would like to try meditation, there are lots of techniques on youtube. You can find a good one for dealing with anxiety and negative thoughts here.