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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Dr. Robyn Introduces the March 2015 Powerful Word… HEALTH

Health

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

Being healthy is more than just feeling good. It’s total well-being and freedom from disease. Each year, it’s important to take inventory of our health and the health of our family. But just as important, we need to help our children to understand and take responsibility for their own health as well.

When children are young, parents choose what their children are going to do and eat. As children get older, the responsibility of the physical and nutritional choices shifts to them. Of course, we can still buy nutritious groceries for our homes and encourage the best physical activity here in class, but children aren’t always under the watchful eye of a parent, teacher, or coach! We must encourage them to make positive choices even when they are on their own.

Children’s lifestyles have a profound effect on health. In May of 2014, an article published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity showed that heavy use of electronic media had adverse health effects on children. In particular, high levels of electronic media was linked to increased risk factors for type 2 diabetes and vascular diseases. Surprisingly, heavy use of electronic media, especially watching too much TV and too many videos, increased the levels of risk factors not only in sedentary children, but also physically active children. Irregular eating and unhealthy diet played a role in the results.

Children can improve or maintain good health through balanced nutrition, daily physical exercise, a good night’s sleep, good hygiene, and steering clear of drugs and smoking. Having powerful character may also contribute to wellness since a clear conscience and a giving spirit always makes us feel good!

Please continue to talk to your children about making healthy choices. Let’s make 2015 a very healthy year!

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 – LOYALTY

Loyalty

Loyalty2

Dear Donna,
Thank you for writing in about this interesting dilemma. Loyalty is a tough concept for children to understand, especially when it comes to friendship, family and doing the right thing. We want our children to be a loyal person with strong character.

Here is where I would start:

(1) Help to define what loyalty is: Loyalty is being faithful and committed to someone or something. It says to the person you care about; “I have stuck by you, I am sticking by you and I will stick by you in the future.” But we must also be loyal to ourselves and our values. At times, the best way to be loyal to someone is by looking out for them. It may result in doing something that the other person doesn’t like. We must help those we like or love do the right thing as it is part of showing that we care for that person.

(2) Help to define what loyalty is not: Loyalty does not mean
that you will allow your friends to break the rules, do dangerous acts and compromise their values without standing up for what is right. You can stick by a friend without endorsing their choices just as you can value your friend without denouncing your own values. That means, if you care about your friend, speak up when s/he starts going in the wrong direction. That’s what friends do.

(3) Commend loyal acts: It’s not always easy to be loyal. In school, many children will choose popularity over sticking by a friend who has fallen out of favor. And it’s easy to see how a child might join in when friends are making unkind jokes about another friend instead of sticking up for that person. Loyal people will stick by and stick up for those who they care for even in challenging circumstances. When you see your child making the tough choice, recognize him for it. Tell him; “I know what you did wasn’t easy. It shows your loyalty and your strong character. It was not only right but courageous.”

Loyalty is confusing for children so be sure to continue to discuss it. Provide hypothetical scenarios at the dinner table and ask your children “what would you do?” Offer your thoughts and listen to their thoughts as well. Over time, they will learn how they can be a loyal person with character.

Here’s to your success!

Dr. Robyn Signature

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February 2015 Powerful Word – “LOYALTY”

2-11-2015 2-48-15 PM

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

Loyalty is a complex word. It means being faithful, steadfast and true to someone or something. When we are loyal, we stand up for and stand by our friends, family, school or cause. Of course, loyalty doesn’t mean we always agree or we refuse to speak up when we know someone we love is in the wrong.

This  concept can be confusing to children and teens who may be navigating complicated feelings and relationships for the first time. They may wonder; “If I don’t agree with my friend, my teacher, or my family is it OK to speak up? Or, is that being disloyal?” As adults we know that speaking up and being true to one’s values does show loyalty.

All relationships require loyalty to work. Whether these relationships are family-based, friendship-based, or workbased, being true and supportive is expected. The breakdown of loyalty can seriously compromise friendships in children and adults. It is also not easily repaired as it involves a breach in trust.

A recent longitudinal study out this past June talks about strong character and loyalty as a vital part of positive child development. In particular, the children who were considered the “cool kids” (those young teens driven by popularity and the need to impress) did not turn out as well as other children who were not considered so “cool.”

As the lead researcher, Joseph P. Allen, said to the New York Times; “To be truly mature as an early adolescent means you’re able to be a good, loyal friend, supportive, hardworking and responsible. But that doesn’t get a lot of airplay on Monday morning in a ninth grade homeroom.”

“Loyalty” should create some interesting discussions! I hope you will continue these discussions at home and while in transit, in order to help the children understand this multifaceted powerful 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,

—Your Motivated and Dedicated Instructors

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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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