Tag Archives: children

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

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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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December, 2014 Powerful Word: Fairness

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

Fairness is a tough concept to understand for many children. It’s easy to see why. Fairness does not necessarily mean equal or “the same” and yet studies tell us that young children believe that inequality is unfair (i.e. Science, May 2010). As adults, we know that fairness is reached when everyone gets what is needed, deserved and appropriate given age and circumstance.

For example, picture the family that sits down to dinner. If fairness meant “the same” then everyone should be given the same amount of food regardless of need, hunger, weight, or size. Most would agree, that wouldn’t be fair at all!

A recent study out of Yale University found that children can be unfailingly fair when dividing up candy bars between two other children (Journal of Experimental Psychology, 2014). In fact, when considering whether to give the extra candy bar to one child or throw that extra bar away, they typically chose to throw any extras away. They even keep up this fairness streak when they are involved as a recipient. The only time this paradigm is disrupted is when the children believe that no one will know if they receive the extra candy bar. Some will choose to accept the extra prize in that circumstance!

One of the areas that we will be discussing this month, aside from defining fairness, is how to play by the rules. On the surface, we equate “playing by the rules” to when we play games, do sports or enter contests with others. Children need to learn about cheating, stealing and showing respect while competing with others.

But “playing by the rules” also relates to “fighting fairly” when  in debate with others. This takes empathy, self control and listening skills. On the one hand, children need to learn how to listen with an open mind, identify the problem and take responsibility for their actions. On the other hand, children need to restrain themselves from yelling, blaming and  intimidating.

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.

Keep up the good fight!

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October, 2014 Powerful Word: Respect

10-14-2014 9-54-10 AM

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

Simply put; when we respect someone or something, we show that they are valuable and worthy of care, attention or consideration.

We often talk to children about respect in terms of how we would want others to treat us and then help them to apply that concept to how we should be treating others. But respect is more nuanced than that. We don’t just treat others the way we want to be treated but rather, how they deserve and need to be treated as well.

Therefore, when speaking to ur children, it’s important to note that respecting others does not necessarily mean that we treat them “the same.” For instance, a child who has special needs might want help doing a new skill while a child without such special needs may prefer to practice the skill independently. In this case we actually treat each child differently while showing respect for both.

We can show respect to ourselves as well. When we see ourselves as valuable and are made to feel special for who we are, we develop self-respect. Respecting ourselves provides the foundation for respecting others.

Children learn a great deal about respect by interacting with their peers. According to a recent study, when children interacts with peers, they learn about perspective-taking, empathy and differences. The children can then develop critical-thinking while practicing how to show respect despite disagreements.

As mentors, parents and teachers in the lives of children, it is important for us to model respect for ourselves and others while discussing values of kindness, empathy and gratitude. Children absorb our values and will imitate what we do as well as what we say. We can show respect for ourselves by, for example, protecting our time or taking care of our bodies and we can show respect for others by listening to them and giving them our undivided attention.

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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What Do You Do If Your Child Is Being Bullied?

bullying82It happens every so often… I am approached by one or both parents of a young student, usually with the student, requesting that they speak with me in private.  We enter my office and close the door, and the parents proceed to inform me that their child is having a problem with another child at school.  In most cases, there have been several incidents in which their child has been bullied by the other child and they are calling me aside to  request my advice.  The parents usually do not need my advice regarding what their child should do.  They have already given their child the advice that any normal parent would give his or her child.  They just need me to reinforce it to their child.  They know what I am going to say, because it is based on common sense, which is what they used to reach the same conclusion.

Prior to their having to deal with this situation, many parents would have advised that their child ignore or just walk a way from the bully.  Others may have advised their child to tell his or her teacher of the problem and it would be taken care of.  They may even give this advice to their child at the outset and will quickly learn that the bully will not allow their child to just ignore or walk away from him.  Even if the child can avoid the bully, there is no way that he or she can live without fear of confronting the bully, which will completely dismantle his or her self-esteem.  Parents will also learn that if their child “tells the teacher”, the child pays for this with even more bullying.  Many of the parents have already gotten involved in the situation by speaking with the child’s teacher and school administrators, but this has the same effect as the prior scenario.  You see, there is only one sensible answer to a bullying situation and all parents, no matter what they had always professed before they ever had to face this issue, come to this common sense conclusion.

You really can not blame the parents for giving their children this initial bogus advice or getting themselves involved when you consider the culture of political correctness that has evolved in society.  According to this culture, any form of physical confrontation is considered violence, and violence must be avoided at all costs.  However, when everything else has failed, parents always seem to finally reach the realization that this is the child’s problem and the child must stand up to the bully and deal with any physical altercation that may arise.  If the child does not stand up to bully32the bully, he or she is doomed to live each day in fear of the bully and the child’s self-esteem will be greatly affected in a negative way.  Of course the bullying will not last forever, but if the child does not face the bully, the psychological damage that is caused will.  A good friend of mine stated it best: an injury to your body will heal and go away, but an injury to your pride will remain with you for the rest of your life.

Having said that, is it really worth conforming to political correctness and advise your child to avoid “violence” at all costs?  Are you really doing right by your child?  In my opinion, you will be doing your child a disservice if you take this position.  Don’t get me wrong… I agree that violence is not good for anybody.  However, sometimes it is necessary to make things right.  In mostly all situations when a victim stands up to a bully, one of two things happen; 1) the bully backs down and no physical confrontation results, or 2) a confrontation ensues and the vicitim walks away with some bruises, but gains the bully’s respect.  In either situation, the result is that the bullying stops and the child walks away with his pride and a positive self-esteem.  In addition to this, the bully just may receive a lesson in humility.

It is my belief that all parents know this from the beginning, because as I said above, it is all based on common sense.  It is a shame that society has made it so difficult to do the right thing by polluting our minds with all this politically correct BS.  When I was a child, standing up to a bully was the only solution to the problem and parents, including my own, never had any hesitation to say, “if he hits you, you hit him right back!”  Life was so much simpler back then and people were so much more normal and well adjusted.  Again, this is because they handled these types of problems with common sense.  As I stated above, I believe that all parents today eventually come to the sensible conclusion.  It is just too bad that they have to spend so much time and effort to come to it, and need so much reinforcement once they reach it.

I welcome your comments.

As always, keep up the good fight!

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