Tag Archives: childrens martial arts

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 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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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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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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