September’s Powerful Word is Discipline

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 DISCIPLINE.

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

Discipline is one of the most important character concepts that can help children thrive and become their best.

On the one hand, we need to have the discipline to follow “written or stated rules.”

This may refer to rules set by our parents (i.e. come home by curfew, complete chores), our schools (i.e. come prepared, keep hands to oneself, wait one’s turn), and our community (i.e. obey traffic laws, don’t litter).

On the other hand, we must learn to follow our own self-imposed rules.

These rules allow us to achieve our goals, become a productive member of society, make friends and become a leader.

For example, there may be no “written or stated rule” about studying for a test, but someone with discipline will do it anyway as it’s part of their own self-imposed rules.

To simplify things for our children; the first part of discipline is about having respect for others, the second is about having respect for ourselves.

Both parts of discipline are important.

While parents, teachers, and other adults are in charge of the external rules, only the children themselves can be in charge of their own self discipline.

Discipline has been connected with children’s ability to thrive in school.

A study in 2009 shows that discipline is twice as important in predicting academic success than intelligence.

A study out of the University
of Montreal this year further explains that “Children who are more likely to work autonomously and harmoniously with fellow classmates, with good self-control and confidence, and who follow directions and rules are more likely to [bring these actions] into the adult workplace” (January, 2012).

Please speak to your children about your methods of staying focused and disciplined even when it’s challenging.

How do they keep control of their bodies and minds when distractions are everywhere?

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

Week 1 Discipline defined: What is it & when and where do we use it?
Week 2 Discipline & choices: Rewards of discipline and consequences without it.
Week 3 Discipline skills: Self con- trol, anger management, goal-setting, accountability.
Week 4 Work before play: Why are disciplined people/teams so successful?

We’d love to hear how your conversations go with your child so do share with us!