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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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Our Powerful Word of the Month: Compassion

8-3-2014 4-49-19 PM

Compassion, in Latin, means “co-suffering” or “suffering
together.” When we feel compassion, our heart responds to others who are dealing with misfortune or pain in a way that motivates us to want to help alleviate their suffering.

Compassion involves other powerful words such as empathy as well as kindness and altruism. Rather than judging others or ignoring their pain, we look upon them with a caring heart. We wonder; how can I bring comfort to them? How can I offer a helping hand?

However, compassion is not the same as empathy and altruism. According to “The Greater Good” out of the University of California, Berkeley, empathy is when we “mirror” another’s emotion, like tearing up at a friend’s sadness and altruism is an action that benefits someone else. “Although these terms are related to compassion, they are not identical. Compassion often does, of course, involve an empathic response and an altruistic behavior. However, compassion is defined as the emotional response when perceiving suffering and involves an authentic desire to help alleviate that suffering.”

Compassion happens to be good for everyone. It makes the one who gives feel better (and healthier!) and it helps the one who “gets” feel better too.  Compassion is contagious! Social scientists Fowler and Christakis have shown in their research that when people see and receive acts of compassion, they are more likely to pay it forward.

While we must learn to have compassion for others, we also must learn to have compassion for ourselves. We live in a world that can be overly competitive or harsh. It can be easy to tear ourselves down, criticize ourselves or refrain from resting and recharging when we know we need to do so. When we have compassion for ourselves, we accept that we make mistakes, we are human and we are still valuable and worthy of love.

Keep up the good fight!


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Filed under Child Class Issues, What's Happening at N.S.M.A.C.

Martial Arts and ADHD

According to recent statistics, 2 to 3 percent of children have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyeractivity Disorder).   The number of children in the United States with ADHD is estimated to be about 2 million.   Children with ADHD tend to exhibit excessive inattention and impulsive behavior, which compromises their function in everyday life.

So how does this relate to Martial Arts?  Well, doctors are increasingly recommending Martial Arts classes for children with ADHD.  Martial Arts involves a high level of focusing attention and controling behavior, which is exactly the training these children need to improve.

Check out this news story on the subject:

As always, keep up the good fight!!!

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Filed under Child Class Issues