Tag Archives: 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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