This month American Family Martial Arts’ students will study the character word: TRUSTWORTHY. People that are trustworthy have a reputation for being honest, responsible, and reliable. When a child is considered trustworthy, there are many benefits. People tend to treat trustworthy children better and provide them with more opportunities from learning to leading which consistently increases the child’s self-esteem. With that said, it is safe to say that helping children become trustworthy is the foundation for good character development.
You can help by reinforcing trustworthiness at home. Support your child in their effort to become more trustworthy. Below are some tips on how to compliment the lessons we teach about trustworthiness this month:
- Make promises only of rewards that you plan to keep.
- Make promises only of punishments that you plan to keep.
- Be consistent in everything you say.
- Tell the truth to your children.
- Tell the truth in front of your children.
We implement this in our age appropriate classes during our mat chats:
For our Tiny Tigers (ages 3 & 4) we explain what this word means.
Do you know what trustworthy means?
It means that you tell the truth and follow the rules. For example, if you throw a ball in the house and broke something and then lied about throwing the ball, then you are not being trustworthy. Your parents will be very sad to hear that you didn’t follow the rules and you didn’t tell the truth. To make your parents happy, you should always follow the rules and tell the truth.
Are you trustworthy if:
• You never cross the street when you play outside because you know it is not safe?
• You cross the street when your parents aren’t watching because you don’t see any harm in doing so?
• You kick food and trash under the sofa because you don’t want to clean it up?
• You clean up your mess without your parents telling you to because you know that cleaning up after you play is a house rule?
Mat Chat for Little Ninjas (ages 5 & 6)
Do you know what trustworthy means?
Trustworthy means that you tell the truth and follow the rules. For example, if you spill something on the floor and then lie about it, then you are not being trustworthy. If you are not trustworthy then people will not believe you and that will make your parents very sad. To make your parents happy, you should always tell the truth and follow the rules.
Trustworthy or not? True or not true?
• You stop at the stop signs when riding your bike.
• You lie when you get caught not following rules.
• You keep your promises that you make to your family.
• You tell your parents that you are sick even though you are not, just so you don’t have to go to school.
• You brush your teeth in the morning and at night without being told because you know it is an important house rule.
Our Core Students (ages 7-9)
What does the word trustworthy mean? (one student is asked to define trustworthy)
The answer is: to be deserving of trust or confidence and to be dependable and reliable. When you are trustworthy, you don’t lie, cheat, or steal. Instead, you follow the rules, even if no one is watching you. People that are trustworthy have a better reputation and have more opportunities because people can trust them.” (as long as student answer is close to this, it’s all good)
Let’s try a quiz to help you understand how to be trustworthy!
Good or bad decision?
• You forgot to study for your math test, so you copied the test answers from a friend sitting next to you.
• You bought some candy at the store and the clerk accidentally gave you an extra dollar in change. You immediately gave the dollar back to the clerk.
• Your friend told you a special secret about what she wanted to be when she grew up and asked you not to tell anyone. You kept your promise and never told anyone.
Extreme Students: ages 10-14
Tell me what your definition of trustworthy is? (Ask two students to describe in their own words what trustworthy means)
American Family Martial Arts describes trustworthy to mean to be deserving of trust or confidence and to be dependable and reliable. In other words, you should always act and make decisions that are right and not just because someone else tells you to do something. For example, if someone tells you to steal something, your parents should be able to trust that you will make the right decision and not steal because you are trustworthy.
1. Your friend notices that the money your class raised for a recent fund-raiser can easily be taken. Since the money doesn’t technically belong to anyone yet, you friend says it’s ok to take it. Would you:
a. Take it because your friend has a good point.
b. Tell your friend to take it and you won’t tell anyone.
c. Tell your friend that it does belong to a charity that needs it and deserves it.
2. Your friend gets into an argument with another classmate. Your friend is angry and wants to spread a nasty rumor about the person and wants you to help. Would you:
a. Help your friend because that’s what friends do.
b. Tell your friend to spread the rumor and you won’t tell anyone that you know it isn’t true.
c. Tell your friend that spreading rumors is not only mean, but it untruthful and you value truth more than anything.
As these examples show, at American Family Martial Arts, we don’t just lecture at children, we try to engage them in discussion that help them understand concepts and make good choices in life.
Learn more about our programs on our website: www.americanfamilyma.com