Entire Family of Black Belts Prove Kicking Together Means Sticking Together!

Chris Herrman - Executive Director of Alpha Martial Arts & Character Development - Seattle, WAGreetings All! I’d like to take a moment to share a great story that Platinum Level Member, Chris Herrman of Alpha Martial Arts & Character Development in Seattle, Washington just shared with me…here’s the press release – enjoy!

Please feel free to forward us any exciting milestone’s like this and we’ll be thrilled to publicize them (and brag about you!)

Have a wonderful Weekend!

Jason M. Silverman
Powerful Words Character Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Entire Family of Black Belts in Bryant Prove Kicking Together Means Sticking Together

Seattle, WA June 6, 2008 – For the first time in Bryant history an entire family is earning their black belts tonight.

Dr. Marcio Sotero De Menezes, wife Rosario and their 15-year-old daughter, Gabriela, and their 12-year-old son, Paulo, will celebrate earning their black belts this evening. The Sotero’s, along with 6 other local black belt students, ages 10 and up, will be featured at a ceremony tonight at 7:00pm in the Eckstein Middle School Auditorium (3003 NE 75th Street, 98115).

Program Director and Instructor, Astre Kay, said, “The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the progress and growth in students and the amount of support they get from their families. After working here for 3 years I’ve found that the families that kick together stick together.”

Interspersed between performances by students as young as four years old, our newest black belts will be demonstrating some of the skills that they have developed over the last several years as students at Alpha Martial Arts. Black belt mother and wife Rosario Sotero de Menezes said, “Confidence and positive self-esteem are benefits of martial arts for individuals of all ages. In my experience there is nothing more confidence building than mastering a self-defense technique to the point that you feel you could use it in a confrontation or perfecting a form so that your body flows effortlessly through the movements.”

Chris Herrman, Executive Director and Master Instructor of Alpha Martial Arts, believes earning a black belt is a process of physical and personal growth…far more than most would suspect. “Alpha Martial Arts curriculum and the Powerful Words Character Development system provide our students with the opportunity to learn about, practice and experience first hand, the skills that will help our students to become grateful, helpful, leaders in our community. Our school stresses the importance of developing an Attitude of Gratitude. This is one of the many ways we build black belt leaders from the inside out.” says Herrman.

Chris Herrman is the Executive Director and Master Instructor of Alpha Martial Arts and has helped thousands of kids, teens, and adults to embrace a positive and healthy lifestyle.

For a Lively and Information Packed Interview, Contact Chris Herrman.
Photos and Video Cheerfully Provided.

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Top Students: Does Self Discipline Trump IQ in Children and Teens?

Parents have already started using the Dr. Robyns’ Powerful Parenting Blog! Some have begun to make comments (it’s a little scary for them when they first start using the technology so please reassure them that making comments and asking question is encouraged!) and others have sent me emails directly with their questions.

**This article is published in a revised format on Dr Robyn’s Blog for Powerful Parents. It demonstrates just one more way that POWerful Words is beneficial for their children. The connection between character development and academic performance is both real and important. Since you are teaching self discipline this month, be sure to direct your parents to this article on the powerful parenting blog so that they can see how your staff is helping their children to do better in school through the Powerful Words curriculum! You are benefiting your students in many more ways than just the physical. Great job in over-delivering!

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Yesterday I received the following question about children’s self discipline vs smarts from Mary in Charlotte, North Carolina:

“I have a quick question–since the Powerful Word this month is Self Discipline, my husband got into this discussion about our son (age 14) and daughter (age 11) who have very different study habits. We were just wondering, can kids with great self discipline do better in school than kids who are the smartest?”

Hi Mary-

Here’s a quick answer to your quick question!

People often point the finger at unprepared teachers, boring lesson plans, inadequate books, and overpopulated classes when it comes to student underachievement.

Interestingly, research has actually shown that:

  • Self discipline predicts academic performance more robustly than did IQ.
  • Self discipline has also predicted which students would improve their grades over the school year.
  • American children, in particular, have trouble making choices that require them to sacrifice short term gratification for long-term gain, such as academic success.
  • Compared with more impulsive peers, highly self disciplined 8th graders earned higher GPAs and achievement test scores, were more likely to gain admission to selective high schools, had fewer school absences, spent more time on homework, watched less TV, and started their homework earlier in the day.
  • Highly self disciplined adolescents outperformed their more impulsive peers on every academic performance variable in one study, including report-card grades, standardized achievement test schools, admission to a competitive high school, and attendance.

As you can see, the Powerful Word, self discipline, has long lasting and important effects! So encourage your children to attend those character-based Power Chats with open ears!

Just a quick note: I’m so glad that your family is benefiting so much from the curriculum. We’re all very impressed that you and your spouse are engaging in discussions about the powerful word of the month. Congratulations on making character development a family affair!

Keep your questions and comments coming! Thanks, Mary!

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I did it! Teaching Children the Rewards of Self Discipline

You and your clients know several tips on helping children learn self discipline since you read it in the Dear Dr. Robyn column in your Powerful Words package this month. But I thought I would expand on one of the tips (number 4) in the following article on children and self discipline, in particular: “Help your children recognize the rewards of self discipline.”

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I did it! Teaching Children the Rewards of Self Discipline

By Dr. Robyn J.A. Silverman

**Note: This article appears in an altered form for parents on Dr. Robyn’s Blog for Powerful Parents.

The rewards for self discipline go well beyond gold stars. The rewards of self discipline are both external and internal.

An external self discipline reward is one that is provided by someone else. For example, when a child uses self discipline to study for a test, the external reward might be a high grade. If a child disciplines herself to practice gymnastics, swimming, or martial arts, the reward might be a trophy, ribbon, or new belt rank. These rewards signify that other people noticed her gains.

An internal reward is one that manifests from inside. Only the child can muster up this reward. For example, when a child disciplines herself to work complete an art project, her internal reward might be a feeling of accomplishment, pride, or relief. When a child uses self discipline to prepare for auditions at her all-star cheerleading academy or for a belt test at her martial arts academy and she does well, her internal reward might be a feeling of value, achievement, or self worth.

We want to help children understand both types of rewards. Both can be motivating and they are often intertwined. A trophy or medal can be interlinked with feelings of pride and a high grade can be linked to feelings of accomplishment. But this is not always the case.

As the number of external rewards increases, the feelings of pride and accomplishment do not always increase. Be careful! Parents who give too many outside rewards such as toys, treats, or money, may find that their value decreases over time. Similarly, instructors who provide too much “empty praise” or “over” give symbols of achievement when they are not truly earned (belt rank, higher ranked class, ribbons, stars), again, may find that they lose their meaning after a while. Nothing can buy a feeling of pride.

Since your students look to you for a reaction—show them that you’re proud of their commitment, effort, perseverance, and determination rather than just the trophy, grade, or medal. I remember talking to someone about this once and our discussion had to do with the following;

 

“Let’s say that a child usually runs a mile in say, 10 minutes. He enters a race. He’s determined. He practices. He runs the mile in his fastest time, 9 minutes and 30 seconds. And he comes in flat last and receives a certificate of participation. Are you proud? Disappointed? Now, the same child enters another race. He doesn’t practice and he’s not that determined. He doesn’t put in much effort. He runs the race in 11 minutes and 50 seconds. He comes in first place and wins the blue ribbon. Are you proud? Disappointed? Let’s put in a third scenario now—the same child enters a last race. He has his eye on the trophy. He trains and he is determined. He believes that winning is the most important part of competing. He runs the race in 9 minutes flat. He wins the whole thing. What we come to find out is that he has switched his competitor’s running shoes with ones that are a size too big and he is taking performance enhancing drugs. Are you proud? Disappointed?

Are we teaching the child to simply be “the best” in comparison to others or to do “his best” no matter what the circumstances? Do we teach the child to continually improve his personal best through self discipline and perseverance, gage effort by looking to his neighbor, or go “for the gold” at all costs just because it’s shiny?

Don’t get me wrong–there is absolutely nothing wrong with earning an external reward through effort, perseverance, and self discipline. I kept many of my own gymnastics, swimming, diving, horseback-riding, dramatic, and academic awards until my mother told me to clear them out of her basement a year ago. Just make sure to highlight that the external is a symbol of your child’s positive character. Otherwise, the external reward often gets far too much attention.

That being said; help your child to recognize the internal reward that comes with achievement. For example,

  • Instead of saying “good job on getting a high score on that test,” (external reward) say, “You must be very proud of the effort you put in to prepare for your test. (Internal reward) Congratulations—it certainly paid off! How do you feel?” or
  • “Congratulations on running your fastest mile! You really showed great perseverance when you kept going even though the other runners were in front of you. How does it feel to accomplish such a tough goal? What do you think that says about your character?”
  • You really showed us all what determination looks like! You must have some fire in your belly! How does it feel to work so hard and achieve your goal?

Entering into a dialogue that brings the internal reward to the forefront will help the child connect the good feelings to the effort—rather than to the external rewards– which will come and go and lose importance as time marches onward. We certainly don’t want children going after goals just so that they can collect trophies (in what ever form they might be) that may simply collect dust. Trophies are meaningless without the strength of character, pain of sacrifice, and pride of achievement that it took to accomplish the goal.

Ultimately, highlighting what it took to achieve the goal rather than the external reward will help your children recognize what it takes to be successful and they’ll want to do it again and again.

Have a strong end to your February!

Instructors, coaches, and teachers! Something new! Do you “Digg” (like) the article you read here on The official Powerful Words Blog? If so, please press on the “Digg” icon at the bottom of the article or any other article you like. Thanks! It will help us to know which articles are most helpful and it may also help to put these articles into the limelight– which means more positive exposure for all of your schools. Again, thank you in advance!

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