We spoke with Dr. Kusum Kanwar, the Managing Director and Owner of Kangaroo Kids, Kandivali, one of Mumbai’s largest and most prestigious preschools. We discussed about her experiences in the realm of mindfulness and the importance of a child’s emotional well-being. We discussed about how toxic stressors may affect a child’s brain development throughout their lifetime. She emphasized on character strengths, resilience, and emotional well-being as important skills to have. The school provides children with social nourishment along with academic nurturing. They focus on strengthening social-emotional well-being and life skills that are required in the 21st century. Much of the focus of education is leaning to be on tech skills now more than ever and much of education has been fuelled by extrinsic rewards, children are missing out on the need to listen to the heart. Listening to one’s heart and understanding one’s emotions, she believes, is the key to living a happy and fulfilling life. We talked about how SEL can help students become more socially and emotionally competent, allowing them to thrive not simply academically but also as compassionate human beings. Our children’s main priority should not always be to have a great profession, money, or wealth, but rather the capacity to bounce back when they fail. She talked about how her school believes in educating via narratives and stories, as well as instructors serving as role models for children. Worry will result from a lack of social-emotional skills, which will have an influence on one’s physical and psychological well-being. The school needs to incorporate social-emotional skills, as teachers enhance students’ capacity to integrate these skills, attitudes, and behaviors to deal effectively and ethically in life.
We discussed how every teacher needs to have social-emotional competencies because only then he/she would be ready and prepared to actually understand the child, a teacher needs to understand that the success of every child is unique. Her message to all educators is that we can all help young people develop social and emotional skills that will help them succeed not only in the classroom but in life as well. She believes that in order to build up life experiences, we need an emotional and rational mind that works in tandem. We were delighted to meet her and happy to see how her school’s core values align with Mindful Souls mission.