I’ve decided to add a word to the list of swear words in our house: Can’t. My six-year-old was invited to a rollerskating parting, and it what his first time wearing wheels on his feet.
He was eager to try but, as it goes when you’re learning to skate, quickly fell on his butt. He tried to hold back tears as the pain shot through his body. I could tell it hurt. The valiant efforts and optimism soon fell way to can’t. When he arrived home, full of frustration, he said I can’t roller-skate.
We’ve all been there. I’ve said it countless times. But the thing is that can’t is limiting. Not only does it shut someone off from trying, it shuts out the real reason why the outcome isn’t quite what you’re seeking.
We could all benefit from eliminating the word can’t from our vocabulary. So I don’t really have a swear-word list for my house. This word can’t is actually the first word on the list. My six year old may even be better off using the word s*&^ that can’t.
In the rollerskating example, more beneficial words to use would be, this is is my first time trying it and I’m not very good at skating. Or I don’t quite have the rhythm of rollerskating down. This is challenging, and I’m going to take a break before I try again. There are a number of different directions to go with it. It’s a matter of perception.
Think about how you and your kids use the word can’t, and think about the alternatives. What other words could you use?