August’s Powerful Word is Cooperation

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 COOPERATION.

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

Cooperation, quite simply, is when we work together towards a common goal.

It is made up of a compilation of social skills such as taking turns, sharing, listening, compromising, rallying together as well as valuing and appreciating others.

Cooperation takes patience, empathy and accountability.

Cooperation is among one of the most important skills that children can master.

A study out at the end of last year shows that early friendship quality may make the difference (November, 2011).

Kindergarten kids with high-quality friendships tend to have fewer behavior problems and better social skills than those whose friendships were of low or moderate quality.

This is especially true for boys.

According to Jennifer Engle, lead author of the study, “High-quality kindergarten friendships that featured cooperation and sharing, taking turns, low levels of hostility, and little destructive conflict, gave children–especially boys–practice in positive interaction, which they demonstrated in grades 1 and 3.”

Therefore, spending time on teaching cooperative skills, as we will this month, is crucial to every child’s overall success throughout life.

As children become more involved with sports and other extra-curricular activities, cooperation takes on a new quality.

It’s not just about friendship but making teams work more effectively.

Children and teens need to learn about filling in when needed, showing value for other people’s contribution, rallying others to keep morale high and even knowing when to step back to allow others room to grow and shine.

They can apply these same lessons to help their families, student government, study groups, and friendships work cooperatively.

Please speak with your children about how they can show cooperation at home and in each part of their lives. As future and current leaders, they can lead the way!

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

Week 1 Cooperation defined: What is it and when and where do we use it?
Week 2 Individual cooperation skills: Taking turns, listening and doing our fair share.
Week 3 Team cooperation skills: Teamwork, compromising, rallying, valuing others.
Week 4 Cooperation effects: The rewards of cooperation.

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.”