Today we spent MenFit looking at the evidence based strategies of savouring. We started the lesson as we always do by writing down our 3 Good Things and sharing one with the class for the roll. This is an almost effortless way to start the class off on a positive note and help the boys to practice the ability to "Hunt The Good". Very important for the adolescent (and any) brain that is prone to negativity.
Next we played hang man because what 14 Year Old doesn't want to outsmart their teacher? And they did eventually. They think they won, they learned a new word so I think I won. We all won!
R U M I N A T I O N
Together we defined this as: Overthinking the negative events. To chew over. And I told my (now hilarious) story about pulling out of the school gate in front of about 400 members of the school community and pulling on the the wrong (RIGHT!) side of the road. I explained how students brought it up with me for days after and how I could have died of embarrassment at the time but we all agreed still thinking about this silly, ancient mistake was pretty silly. Teenagers can see others so much more clearly than themselves ad immediately, I could see a few faces connection to their own ruminations.
Next we guess what we could replace rumination with and, of course, there were plenty of answers: sport, study, reading, music, social media. So then I asked, "So what's the opposite of rumination?"
I suggested savouring. Evidence based, sensory experience to slow down and enjoy the good experiences we have in front of us. And this was the tricky bit: holding back 21 teenage boys from chowing down on a tiny morsel of chocolate.
We agreed that usually it would take us less than 30 seconds to tear open and devour our favourite, Favourite. We also agreed to slow down and follow the instructions and use the graduation worksheet steps to explore each of the 5 senses. I set a timer.
We drew, we coloured, we sniffed, we stared at it and we even watched the marshmallow test video:
And after about 12 minutes we took the tiniest bites and wrote at least 5 describing words about the taste. Then we inhaled the rest...or so I thought.
Afterwards, we reflected and the linked this skill to other areas of life and planned to use this strategy everywhere from getting into the ocean on a hot day, to other meals to walking slowly between classes on a sunny day (sorry next lesson teachers...and I imagine I'll get getting a call from the principal about being everyone's excuse for being late).
And the, of course, there were one or to clever clogs who showed me their uneaten Favourites on the way out of the lesson. I have no doubt those boys will have excellent retirement savings one day.
Adrienne Buckingham has been teaching teenagers for 15 years, parenting for 8 and is on a quest to do it all better using evidence based strategies.