Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Works for Me Wednesday

What do you do with a child who is easily frustrated? What about the child who frequently falls back on the phrase, "I can't!" What about a child who just won't try?

Not that I, you know, have children like that.

OK, that was a joke. I have at least, let me count them, yep, four children who occasionally get frustrated or feel incapable.

And then I am frustrated when one of them says (or shouts, depending on the child. Yes, we have some "yellers" among us) "I can't."

I used to say things like, "Don't say 'can't'" or "How will you know unless you try?"

My children were unmoved by such things. So I stopped saying them. Mostly.

Now, when my kids are just about to reach that point or even after they say, "I can't," I remind them of our new saying. (And this is particularly necessary right now with one child who shall go unnamed for the purposes of this discussion.)

Our new statement is: "I haven't learned how to do this yet."

So, when one of my daughters is frustrated that things are just not quite working the way she thinks they ought to, or if she hasn't perfected a desired skill or accomplishment, a little reminder from me is all it takes.

"I haven't learned to do this yet" sounds so much more optimistic than a wailed, "I can't do it!"

Changing the terms works for us. So, next time you're tempted to throw up your hands and cry, "I can't!" Try to say, "I haven't learned how to do this yet." It might improve your day. Math worksheets, new kitchen skills, a craft project requiring finer motor skills... "I haven't learned to do this yet," could apply to any of the above.

(Little side note: Don't miss the MyMemories Giveaway going on now. Entries are low so you have an excellent chance to win some valuable software!)

This post will be linked to Works for Me Wednesday at We Are That Family.

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