Category Archives: Child Class Issues

Topics to discuss regarding children in Martial Arts

Dr. Robyn Introduces The November, 2015 Powerful Word: CITIZENSHIP

11-3-2015 3-39-10 PM

Dear Family,
This month we will focus on the powerful word; “citizenship.”

Citizenship is more than being a member of a community. It’sa powerful word that reflects how we behave towards our community as well as how we respond to it when it’s in need.

Whether we are referring to our school, our local area or of the world at large, as citizens it’s important that we act with respect and respond in a caring, helpful and responsible manner.

Children’s participation in showing citizenship can have many benefits. For example, recycling can help keep our environment healthy now and in the future. Contributing to charity can provide others with healthier, more satisfying, productive lives. Obeying laws can keep community members safe. And let’s not forget, being a good citizen has its own rewards; the satisfaction and fulfillment that comes from being a helpful, thoughtful, and fruitful contributor of society.

In this day and age, learning about citizenship can happen at home, in school, here in class or even online! At Tufts University and Emerson College, researchers have developed ways for young people to learn citizenship and positive civic engagement via video games. These games are used to educate young people about the communities of interest.

In particular, through the online game, “Civic Seed,” students focus on: (1) looking inward at their own opinions & goals, (2) expanding outward through community partnerships, (3) working together by reflecting on differences and common goals, and (4) looking forward by connecting skills with goals. By being prepared, initiatives are more likely to be successful.

Thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.

Best Regards,

Bill C.

Kid Martial Arts

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Dr. Robyn Introduces the September 2015 Powerful Word: COURAGE

9-13-2015 9-10-55 PM

This month we will focus on the powerful word; “courage.”

Courage is not the absence of fear, as many children might think. Rather, courage is how we cope with fears in the face of challenge. As parents and mentors, it’s important that we let children know that everyone gets scared sometimes. It’s how we cope with those fears that shows our level of courage.

Of course there are reasons why we get scared. Some of those reasons are protective. In other words, we’re scared because fear can keep us safe. Our gut often tells us when something doesn’t feel quite right.

Other times fears emerge from our imagination. We worry about what might happen– even if it’s unlikely.

We need courage when we venture out of our “comfort zone.” For some, courage is necessary when meeting new people or trying new activities. Other people need courage when trying new foods or spending time away from home. Courage helps us to face our fears and “stretch us” so that we can experience more of life.

Studies show that courage is an important component of leadership. In May of last year, Harvard Business Review discussed four characteristics of leaders that can help create a strong team: (1) Acts of humility, (2) Empowering followers to learn, (3) Acts of courage, and (4) Holding people accountable.

HBR went on to say that especially when leaders took courageous risks for the greater good, it was important for the team. We want to teach our children how to be courageous both for their own development as well as to help others.

Thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.

Best Regards,

Dr. Robyn Signature

Kid Martial Arts

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Ask Dr. Robyn: COURTESY

8-23-2015 6-15-34 PM

Dear Dr. Robyn,
In a conversation with my children’s grandparents the other day, they pointed out that so many children these days don’t use common courtesy. It’s all “me, me, me!” I think they are right. Can you provide some tips so we can make sure our children aren’t part of the problem?
— Jade & Pete G, Omaha, NE

Dear Jade & Pete,
In order to raise courteous children, we need to make sure we teach them and show them how to be courteous! But we also need to expect them to show courteous actions without dismissing disrespectful actions. Sometimes, we do one without the other.

In order to raise courteous kids:

(1) Take the extra moment to teach your child: When your child does not remember to use manners, hold the door or help others, don’t jump in and rescue. Take the moment to teach your child the right thing to do. Ask them politely, “Please hold the door for the person behind us. It shows courtesy and it’s what we would like others to do for us too!” Even small children can show courtesy!

(2) Expect courteous actions: Whether it’s at the dinner table, walking into a store, taking the groceries into the home or interacting with friends and family, expect your children to show courteous, developmentally appropriate conduct. Expect table manners, holding the door for others and a helping hand. When we expect kind conduct and relay this to our children, they are much more likely to show it.

(3) Provide courteous opportunities: When you see an opportunity to lend a helping hand or overtly use manners, take it! Say to your children; “that elderly woman is struggling with her bags and getting to out the door– what do you think we should do?” Allow them to hear the courteous way you order from a restaurant and ask them to shadow you by ordering in the same way after you. You can even go to a public area with the intention of looking for courteous opportunities.

Finally, get your family involved with charity: When we can show our children the many people, animals and places that are in need to help, it can ignite their empathy and desire to help. It can also help to underscore how fortunate they are and help them to see that they have the ability and resources to help others. Through charity, our children can learn to show concern and kindness for others and do something that can help others!

Here’s to your success!

Dr. Robyn Signature

Kid Martial Arts

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Dr. Robyn Introduces The June 2015 Powerful Word – TRUSTWORTHINESS

6-3-2015 9-49-31 AM

This month we will focus on the powerful word; “trustworthiness.”

Trustworthiness declares its definition in the word itself. One who is trustworthy is “worthy” or deserving of someone’s “trust” or confidence. While straightforward, trustworthiness is not easily achieved. Trust must be earned.

Trustworthiness is earned by (1) consistently telling the truth, (2) keeping promises and commitments, (3) maintaining confidentiality, (4) refraining from stealing or cheating, (5) choosing to do the right thing and (6) being accountable for one’s mistakes.

While some might believe that people become more cynical and untrusting as they age, a growing body of research shows the opposite. In fact, a new study out of Northwestern University suggests that trust increases as people get older and that those who trust more are also more likely to experience increased happiness over time (Social Psychological and Personality Science, 2015).

On the flip side, some might believe that children are all very trusting. However, research has shown that children by the age of four are able to discern who is and who is not trustworthy.

Who teaches our children about trustworthiness? Those in our families, schools and communities can certainly have a strong, positive influence.

However, there are also many negative influences. Public figures in sports, government and media have been caught lying, cheating, reneging on promises and even breaking the law. Whether we like it or not, many young people look up to these public figures as role models when they are, in fact, “anti-role models.”

The more we talk about trustworthiness with our children, the more they will learn what we expect of them and what they can expect from us. We want young people to know that trust is earned and must be treated with respect.

Thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.

Best Regards,

Dr. Robyn Signature

Kid Martial Arts

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Dr. Robyn Introduces the May, 2015 Powerful Word – TEAMWORK

5-5-2015 10-15-40 AM

This month we will focus on the powerful word; “teamwork.”

When a team works together, great results can be expected. Successful teamwork can shorten the time, divide the effort, and increase the morale of a group that is working towards a common goal.

Great teams accentuate strengths, compensate for weaknesses, and bring out the best in every member. Goal-getting just seems easier. Perhaps that’s why T.E.A.M. is said to stand for “Together Everyone Achieves More” or sometimes even “Together Everyone Achieves Miracles.”

We want all children to learn about the benefits of teamwork and effective teams. Of course, all teams do not guarantee the production of teamwork nor do they always guarantee success. Sometimes teams can house toxic members, poor management or a negative culture.

Therefore while we must teach children the many positive functions of teams, we also must teach them when to speak up and challenge the culture of the team. Speaking up can be tough for anyone, especially children who just want to be accepted. Yet, this is a necessary practice for leaders.

Studies tell us that youth sporting activities tend to build initiative, teamwork, and ability to regulate emotions– all vital skills that can serve them in future leadership roles. A study out last month shows that a simple game played together in sync on a computer led 8-yearolds to report a greater sense of similarity and closeness immediately after the activity (PLOS ONE, Apr 2015).

“Synchrony is like a glue that brings people together,” says author Tal-Chen Rabinowitch. Synchrony occurs when people interact together in time. It’s a fundamental prerequisite for activities such as playing music, singing, dancing and rowing. We often see synchronicity in our own classes! We are thrilled to provide opportunities for students to exercise teamwork.

Thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school  one of the best personal development centers in the world.

Best Regards,

Dr. Robyn Signature

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Ask Dr. Robyn – GRATITUDE

4-14-2015 2-13-14 PM

Dear Dr. Robyn,
We would like to start some gratitude traditions in our home but we do not know where to start. Can you give us some ideas? Thank you in advance.
— Sue and John F, Seattle, WA

Dear Sue and John,
Creating gratitude traditions in your home is a wonderful way to teach your children to look for ways to show gratitude. In
an age in which society seems to yell “bigger, faster, more, more, more!” it’s important to slow down and simply appreciate our blessings.

Here are some ways to incorporate gratitude into your home:

(1) Attitude of Gratitude list or journal: Keep a public family list up on the wall or start a public family journal that allows family members to write (or draw) why they are grateful each week. You can then read (or show) the contents of the journal to everyone at the dinner table one night of the
week to honor both the one who showed gratitude and the one who deserves the recognition.

(2) Gratitude table: Go around the table before dinner and allow each person to explain why s/he is grateful. Who is s/he grateful for and for what is s/he grateful? This idea is simple yet effective.

(3) Create a gratitude calendar: If the gratitude table isn’t possible due to time or logistics, you can create a gratitude calendar which allows you and your family to write down one reason why you are grateful each day. At the end of the month, it’s fun to look back and see all the blessings at once.

(4) Give back: When someone helps you or your family, encourage your family to find ways to give back to that person. Did Grandma baby sit when you needed help? Ask the children to make her a card, plant a garden or find another way to show her gratitude. Did a teacher stay after school to help your child? Send in some extra supplies for the classroom, write a personalized thank you card or find out one of her/his favorite treats and send them along.

(5) Pay it forward: When we receive so many blessings, it’s wonderful to pay it forward to others who are in need. Create breakfast-to-go bags for the local food pantry, collect animal supplies for the animal shelter, donate family time to helping out the soup kitchen or organize a collection for your favorite charity or family in need.

No doubt your efforts will be appreciated!

Here’s to your success!

Dr. Robyn Signature

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Dr. Robyn Introduces The April 2015 Powerful Word – GRATITUDE

4-14-2015 2-13-14 PM

This month we will focus on the powerful word; “gratitude.”

Gratitude involves recognizing the “good things” that exist in your life already. We can show gratitude for people, places and physical possessions, as well as intangibles such as a fun experience, freedom, love, and friendship.

Those who are appreciative do not take their blessings for granted. They remember to take notice and show gratitude for those who make them feel more comfortable, happy, and inspired. An appreciative person doesn’t only feel grateful but shows appreciation for others who have a positive influence on his or her life. After all, one of the best parts of gratitude is how it makes someone else feel when you credit them with being an impactful person.

Becoming an appreciative person can be a challenge for young people. As adults, we want our children to realize that “money doesn’t grow on trees” and “there are many people who are less fortunate” because we want our children to show appreciation for their special privileges, freedoms, and assorted “stuff.” However, young people are wired for their own pleasure and often do not realize all of their blessings until they are pointed out as they develop and mature.

Aside from discussing the word of the month in depth, we will be encouraging everyone to find ways to “show appreciation
to parents, teachers, friends, and others in the community. To facilitate gratitude you can; (1) Go around the dinner table and say one person you are grateful for that day and why, (2) Start at Attitude of Gratitude Calendar or (3) Make a card or
send a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life (see “Dear Dr. Robyn” for more ideas).

Research tells us that there are enormous benefits of gratitude from being able to convert an acquaintance to a new friend to improving physical and psychological health. It even enhances empathy and reduces aggression! What a great word!

Thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.

Best Regards,

Dr. Robyn Signature

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