July’s Powerful Word Is Accountability

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 ACCOUNTABILITY.

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

Accountability is closely linked in with being dependable, responsible and trustworthy.

It’s a powerful word that asks people to keep their promises, admit mistakes, and take action when they realize that they didn’t make the best choice.

Being an accountable person takes courage.

Many people fear the consequences of their mistakes and choose to blame others rather than be accountable for their choices.

Others get so caught up in feeling like their mistakes are a reflection of their own intelligence that they are quick to berate themselves rather than take productive action.

A recent study published in Psychological Science (Oct. 2011), shows that those who think that they can learn from mistakes have different brain reactions to mistakes than people who think intelligence is fixed and that they can’t learn from mistakes.

In other words, those who reflect the mantras “when the going gets tough, I put in more effort” or “if I make a mistake, I can learn from it” are going to perform better in school and in life than those who run from their mistakes.

Not surprisingly, accountability is a vital part of success both in and outside of school.

As part of accountability, children must learn to both look back and look forward.

By looking back at the choices they’ve made and asking themselves; “What did I do? What happened when I did that?” they claim their contribution to the outcome or mistake.

By looking forward and asking themselves; “Now, what can I do? By when can I do it?” they set a plan to take action, fix the mistake and charge forward.

They must practice this over and over so that it becomes a habit.

Having an “accountability partner” can help with the process.

When we can report to someone and let them know our plans and when they’ve been put into action, accountability can become more likely!

To give you more ideas for conversation topics, here’s a run-down of what we’ll be discussing over the next 4 weeks:

Week 1 Accountability defined: What is it and when do we use it?
Week 2 Good Choices, Bad Choices: Rewards and consequences of our actions.
Week 3 Looking back & forward: Admitting and fixing mistakes.
Week 4 Accountability partners: staying on track with our goals.

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.”