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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 – 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 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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NSMAC Holiday Food Drive

Food Drive PicNorth Shore Martial Arts Center is rolling out its 6th annual food drive to help end hunger in the community. Between now and December 23rd, North Shore Martial Arts Center will be hosting a Food Drive to Combat Hunger . Food donations will be given to “A Servant’s Heart” food pantry on Franklin Street in Melrose. Donations can be made at North Shore Martial Arts Center.

All are encouraged to make donations of canned goods or dry boxed food.

Keep up the good fight!

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