May’s Powerful Word is Trustworthiness

Powerful Words is the name of our character development curriculum here at Urban Martial Arts.

It’s designed by one of the nation’s leading childhood development experts, Dr. Robyn Silverman. Every month, we’ll focus on a different Powerful Word, or concept around character development.

This month’s Powerful Word is TRUSTWORTHINESS.

Here’s a video from Dr. Robyn Silverman in which she introduces some of the concepts we’ll be covering this month:

Trustworthiness can be defined as “being worthy of someone’s trust” or confidence. While straightforward, trustworthiness is achieved by choosing to take (and not take) certain actions.

In particular; trustworthiness is achieved by
(1) consistently telling the truth,
(2) keeping promises and commitments,
(3) maintaining confidentiality,
(4) refraining from stealing or cheating,
(5) following the rules,
(6) choosing to do the right thing even when nobody’s looking and
(7) being accountable for one’s mistakes.

From an early age, children understand that not everyone is a reliable source of information. Some people are more worthy of trust than others. A recent study shows that children as young as age 4 are able to discern who is and who is not trustworthy (Association of Psychological Science, 2011).

According to the researchers; the children are able to “distinguish someone who’s truly knowledgeable from someone who’s given them a right answer but doesn’t necessarily deserve long-term trust.” Unfortunately, we’re up against a great deal of challenges. Public figures in sports, government, and media have been caught lying, cheating, stealing, breaking laws, and reneging on their promises.

Yet, they’re often excused for their wrongdoings by an adoring public. Whether we like it or not, many of these public figures serve as role models and many of them aren’t doing a great job of showing the importance of trustworthiness. They are, in fact, “anti-role models.”

This month, please talk with your family about the importance of trust as it is the backbone of our choices, our relationships, and how we are perceived by others. Ask them how they know who to trust and share stories of the lessons you learned around this important Powerful Word.

To give you more ideas for conversation topics, here’s a run-down of what we’ll be discussing this month:

Week 1 Trustworthiness defined: What does trustworthiness mean?
Week 2 Cheating and stealing: How do these actions break trust?
Week 3 Promises & Secrets: When do I keep them? Is there a time when I shouldn’t?
Week 4 Rules and Accountability: How do I abide by rules and deal with mistakes?

About Dr. Robyn:
Dr. Robyn Silverman, child development specialist, body image/body bullying expert, sought-after speaker and award-winning writer, is known for her no-nonsense yet positive approach to helping young people and their families thrive. Her ground-breaking research at Tufts University on young women is the foundation for her book, “Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It.”

Photo Credit: notsogoodphotography on stock.xchng