Category Archives: What’s Happening at N.S.M.A.C.

Keeping you up to date with what is going on at N.S.M.A.C.

Dr. Robyn Introduces the August 2015 Powerful Word – COURTESY

8-10-2015 2-27-01 PM

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

While many typically refer to courtesy as simply a way to be polite, there is more to this powerful word! People who show courtesy are thoughtful and think before they act. Courtesy is not just showing manners, but rather, demonstrating empathy, kindness and respect for others.

We need to teach children how to show courtesy to others. Interestingly, sometimes people show “common courtesy” to strangers, but forget to show courtesy to their own friends and family members. While we don’t always agree with others, courtesy and respect help us maintain a peaceful community. As leaders, our children need to understand the importance of courtesy towards others.

Courtesy can be demonstrated at home while at the dinner table, with friends while negotiating activities and interests, and even with people in our community whom we don’t know personally. Teaching children to look for ways (while still being safe) to help others through charitable giving, sticking up for those being bullied or being a helping hand to someone who has their hands full, can be a wonderful way to instill courtesy.

A recent study out of Harvard University (Making Caring Common), discussed in the Washington Post last year, reveals that 80% of youth believe that parents care more about achievement and happiness than their children showing care for others. But if we want out children to become moral, kind, courteous adults, we need to raise them that way. Making caring a priority and providing opportunities to show kindness and courtesy  is vital.

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 – TRUSTWORTHINESS

6-9-2015 6-37-56 PM

Dear Dr. Robyn,
My child tends to be very trusting of her friends even when they don’t deserve the trust she gives to them…How can I teach her to be more discerning about her friendships and the people she trusts? — Cathy M, Seattle, WA

Dear Cathy,

For many children, the desire to connect with their peers is joined by trusting too quickly. Telling secrets, investing time and
expecting promises to be fulfilled can be met with disappointment when the friendship is not founded on trust. When I present to parents, teachers or students about friendship I say; “Trust respected is a friendship protected.” In other words, without trust, friendships are vulnerable to deceit and regret.

How can we teach our children to be discerning about friendships?

(1) Ask them to define friendship: What words come to mind when you think of a good friend? Fun? Encouraging? Trustworthy? Helpful? Use these words to create a personal definition of friendship.

(2) Ask them how well their top friends adhere to their definition of a good friend: So if their words are “encouraging, trustworthy and fun,” how (and how well) do the people they deem “great friends” show these qualities?

(3) Determine if time together is toxic or beneficial: When your children are with their top friends, does the experience leave them feeling valued and good or frustrated and deflated? If your children come away with negative feelings each time they are with certain friends, that friendship may be toxic.

(4) Encourage discussion: If your children notice a negative pattern with a certain friend, encourage your children to talk, with kindness and candor, with the friend in question. You might teach them to say; “I like you and value our friendship. Lately, when we are together, you say mean things about my other friends. You don’t have to like them but I would like you to stop saying mean things about them. It makes me feel bad.”

(5) Teach that it’s OK to let go: Sometimes, friendships aren’t meant to be. When a peer consistently shows him/herself as a bad friend, it may be time to cut ties. Teach your child that it can be difficult but healthy to let go.

Here’s to your success!

Dr. Robyn Signature

Kid Martial Arts

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Dear Dr. Robyn, May 2015 – TEAMWORK

5-11-2015 11-40-23 AM

Dear Dr. Robyn,
My daughter is on a team that has some girls with a lot of talent but they don’t tend to win…If I’m being honest, there is one real “star” to the team but she somehow makes the team do worse than better. She’s talented but not a team player. I help out with the team and they’ve asked me what to do. Any ideas?
— Mel T; NC

Dear Mel,
Creating a great team is so much more than putting together talented individuals. The overall success of a team is  contingent upon character not just know-how.

When we construct a team, we want members who are going to be  team-oriented; those who work together to compound strengths and round out weak spots, those who challenge but don’t undermine and those who pull the team together rather than segmenting or creating a toxic environment. After all, this is what it means to be a team player.

Being team-oriented is necessary for children’s teams as well as adult teams. According to Jay Hennessey, Commanding Officer of Basic Training Command, this is even true when choosing the right person to become a Navy SEAL! When asking a senior officer for feedback on this issue, he replied; “I don’t really care how fast a guy is on a four-mile run or two-mile swim as long as he is fast enough. I want to know if he is going to be a good team guy. Will he have my back? Can I trust him?”

How do we create teams that work?

(1) Focus on strengths: Encourage the team to name and recognize each team member’s strength. What does each person bring to the team? While some strengths might help create more wins, other strengths might increase morale. Each strength is important. How can each strength contribute to the success of the team? How must the team adjust to utilize each strength?

(2) Name the toxin: If a team has talented individuals who don’t work together as a team, back up. Relay to the team; “each member of the team needs to be a person of character, competence and contribution. How are you showing these three Cs? If someone is not showing character and being a positive part of the team, let that person know what you hope to see and give him/her a chance to demonstrate it.

(3) Cut ties: Sometimes, when a team member is unwilling to change and become team-oriented, we need to part ways. Talent is simply not enough. Does this person put the good of the team or the good of him or herself first? The answer will surely help you to make the right choice.

Here’s to your success!

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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January 2015 Powerful Word: Vision

1-23-2015 10-46-15 AM

This month we will focus on the powerful word, “vision.”

We often talk about the goals we want to achieve in the beginning of the year. But achieving our goals becomes more believable and achievable when we can picture what they will look like once they’ve already been achieved. This is where visioning becomes a vital part of the goal setting process.

When we engage in visioning, we picture exactly who will be present, what we will feel or hear, what we will say and what will occur when we achieve our goal. It readies our mind and gives us a clear path of where we are heading and how we will get there.

According to our Child/Teen Development Specialist, Dr. Robyn Silverman, vision is a 5- part process: See it, Sense it, Say
it, Believe it, Achieve it. In our classes, we find that those who use vision as part of goal-setting are more likely to realize their goals. Visioning prepares the goal-setter and gets him/her motivated.

Goal-setting and visioning are important skills for everyone– including children– to learn and use. The earlier they learn, practice, and incorporate these skills into their lives, the more adept they will be when the stakes are higher as they get older. Research tells us that the more specific, timely, and appropriately challenging the goals are, the more beneficial they are for motivation and learning.

Studies support the idea that if we write down our goals, report on them, stay accountable to another person and make active commitments to achieve a goal, it is more likely that the goal will be achieved (i.e. See Gail Matthews study out of Dominican University). Vision supports a more involved relationship with a goal so that the goal-setter knows where s/he is heading, how s/he will get there and what will happen when that goal is achieved. Visioning sets the goal within the goal-setter’s sight line and therefore, seems more “in reach.”

Those who can take the power of vision and goal-setting and convey it to others possess a great leadership skill. When leaders provide others with a clear vision of their goals and plan, others are more likely to help! We 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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