blog » August 8, 2016 by Donna John

Encouraging Mindfulness & Gratitude in Kids With Dr. Monisha Vasa! by Donna John

7 years ago
Encouraging Mindfulness & Gratitude in Kids With Dr. Monisha Vasa!

Mindfulness, gratitude and compassion can have a huge effect on one's overall well-being and mental health. Dr. Monisha Vasa, a board-certified general and addiction psychiatrist, joined us on #30SecondMom Chat and talked about how to encourage mindfulness and gratitude in our children. 

Q: Why is mindfulness important for children?

Mindfulness is a tool to help us stay present focused and not get lost in the past or future. Mindfulness has been shown to reduce stress, depression and pain in adults. If we start early, we give kids a foundation. Mindfulness comes naturally to children. We can make it a fun family routine and kids and parents alike benefit. Kids can start learning to be mindful of breath, their feelings and other people as early as age 3 or 4.

Q: How can we teach young children mindfulness and gratitude?

  • Kids do what we do, not what we say. First, have your own mindfulness and gratitude practices that kids can observe. Make it part of the routine. Every morning, share intentions for the day. Every evening, discuss the “highs” and “lows.” 
  • Take time with your child to pause, slow down and connect with each other. 
  • Show your child how to put their hands on their belly and notice the feeling of breathing in and out. 
  • Create a gratitude jar where family can drop little notes of gratitude and read together at year’s end.

Q: How can I help my teen to be more mindful?

  • Encourage teens to meditate. Do it together. Sit for 3 to 5 minutes and focus on breathing and letting thoughts go. 
  • Minimize tech and other distractions during driving and mealtime to encourage connection and conversation. 
  • Participate as a family in community service activities that naturally interest your child, and make time to process. 
  • Plan plenty of downtime and try not to over-schedule. This allows teens to slow down and reflect.

Q: What if my child doesn’t seem interested?

Don’t force it. Simply maintain your own practice. Your example is important and speaks volumes. Allow for downtime, rest and conversation. This naturally facilitates being present and connected. Much of parenting is laying a foundation. Even if they don’t seem interested now, they are still learning for later.

Q: How can I encourage compassion in my children?

  • Make sure to notice and praise even small acts of kindness, like kind words, sharing or being helpful.
  • Set an example. Minimize yelling and harsh punishment. Create an atmosphere where kindness is valued in the home and family.
  • Encourage children to reflect on how their words and actions make other people feel. Consider impact on nature and animals, too.

What wonderful words of wisdom from the inspiring Dr. Monisha Vasa! Make sure to follow  @monishavasa, visit MonishaVasa.comlike her on Facebook and visit her 30SecondMom page!

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Christine Jones
Can't wait Dr. Monisha Vasa for this week's chat on such an important topic!
Elisa Schmitz
Very excited to chat with you, Dr. Monisha Vasa! Thanks for letting us shine a light on you tomorrow night!
@nicolecrescenz1 Great chat, and can't wait to join. Thank you
Toni B
Great topic! See you later tonight! THANK YOU, Dr. Monisha Vasa for taking the time to chat with us!
Chef Gigi
That was wonderful . I feel
Re-grounded! Thank you!
Elisa Schmitz
It was a great chat, Dr. Monisha Vasa! Thank you for the inspiration! Thanks to Donna John for the great recap interview! Thank you, Chrissy Jones Jan Mostrom for coordinating! Thanks to Jennifer Young Nicole76 Toni B Chef Gigi Gaggero lorri langmaid Stacy Draeger-Brogan Stacey Freeland Raquel Masco Dieter Schmitz, Holly Budde, Ian Gertler and Lori Lite, among others, for being there. Our 30Second Mom community rocks!
Jan Mostrom
Totally agree Elisa All 30SecondMom Thank you Dr. Monisha Vasa for a wonderful topic!
Victoria Jimenez
Awesome topic...thanks so much for reminding me it's all about balance and staying mindful, grounded and grateful...sometimes get so involved and so busy, I forget.

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