Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Turn I CAN'T into I CAN

"I Can't!"
Ahhhh- where do they get it from? It drives me up the wall- 15 adorable little minions telling me in a not so harmonise tune "I can't put on my coat or shoes, I can't do my zip, I can't, I can't, I can't!" Where does it come from? This is an age of great possibilities and conquering the unknown- the time of achieving more things in a short period of time, than any other time in their lives.
Think about it- in less then 4 short years a child develops language, small and large gross motor skills, creativity, imagination, compassion (and how to work the system- which parent is the softest) and the list goes on!
So where does it come from? I can't imagine any parent or carer saying to a child,
"No you can't walk!" or "No, you can't say daddy!"

But on second reflection it slowly starts to revel it self and we as adults tell our kids at a very young age they can't - "No you can't climb up (enter any large object they can get their fingers and toes on), you're too little."
But mostly we do it in not so many words and more so by our actions "We've got to go, we're late, let me do it - insert putting on their shoes, jacket or any type of clothing for that matter, feeding themselves, using the toilet, buckling the set belt, etc., etc., etc.! And in the cold hard light of the day, it's obvious we do really tell our kids they can't all the time.

In short, (as I know you need to get back to telling your little monster "No you can't put the cat in the tumble drier!") in doing this we hinder our kids abilities and the chances to do things for themselves, therefore NOT empowering them and allowing them to gain self confidence!
(Check out Empowering Children)

I challenge you to take note of how many times you "tell" your child they can't- what ever age they are (within reason of course) "No you can't drink out of the bleach bottle" is always going to be something they can't do! See if what you're saying (or not saying) is within reason of their abilities to conquer and achieve and re-evaluate how you're going about it. I catch myself doing at least once a day and I try to immediately rephrase. "Come away from the computer, you're too little." to "Give me a second and I'll show you how to work the mouse correctly."

I don't really have an alternative response to a very small child trying to conquer a task that's a little too big for them, Sorry! My best advise is support them whenever and wherever possible- stand beside them as they climb up the flag pole and be there to catch them when they fall. For your older ones, who have the ability to understand what you are asking of them, best advise: Encourage them to have a go on their own (making sure you've show them how to do it properly) and when they are able to speak, teach them to say "I've tried, but I need some help please." And then the not so harmonise tune of "I can't" will turn into "LOOK! I've done it all by myself!" Music to my ears!!
On a finale note (I know this is VERY hard at times) Try your best not to let YOUR busy life,
interfere with THEIR time to conquer and achieve!

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