June’s Powerful Word is Courtesy

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 COURTESY.

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

Courtesy is not just about being polite. People who show courtesy are thoughtful; they think before they act.

What’s the difference? Courtesy is more than a gesture of manners or a series of polite words and actions. It encapsulates empathy, respect for others, and kindness.

Everyone from our family to teachers to our friends and community members deserve to be shown courtesy.

Interestingly, sometimes people show “common courtesy” to strangers, but forget to show courtesy to their own friends and family members.

This month we will explore how courtesy is used with many different types of people in a variety of settings– from restaurants to the dinner table to school and our own class.

As rising leaders, our young people need to understand how important courtesy is in their interactions with others.

Courtesy has an important place in activities such as ours.

According to a new study out of Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, when coaches place greater emphasis on creating caring climates instead of focusing on competition, young people are more apt to develop character and life skills (Psychology of Sport and Exercise, February, 2012).

Stressing courtesy and collaboration over competition can help to create great people, strong athletes, and positive leaders.

As always, one of the best ways to reinforce Powerful Words is by modelling strength of character ourselves. Share with your children all the ways you show courtesy to friends, family, coworkers, and strangers every day.

Highlight the ways you use manners at home and out in the community.

The more children see other important people in their lives showing courtesy, the more likely they are to engage in courteous acts themselves.

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

Week 1 Courtesy defined: What does courtesy mean and how do we show it?
Week 2 Good Manners, Bad Manners: Table, school & out in public.
Week 3 Powerful Greetings: The Powerful GUEST system to meet & greet others.
Week 4 Courteous Words: Please, sorry, excuse me, thank-you and how can I help?

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.”