Remedy for the little one with the “I can’t” bug!

My son has been using the phrase “I can’t” a lot lately because he is so catious, but lately I have noticed that he is using it as a crutch. We went swimming in the lake on the fourth of July and when asked to go into the lake he cried out “I can’t” because he was scared. I don’t want to ignore his fears so we are going to be swimming in pools more often until he is comfortable. But, I also want to implement the “I can” mentality into his vocabulary as much as I have the influence to do so.

So, here are a few things that I have casually introduced to Sean Patrick and spent time encouraging him with in the past week.

1) We started off coloring an “I Can” book that I could read to him and encourage him to “read” to daddy and others as well.

2) We made a homemade video of him on my iphone acting out all of the “I CAN” actions from the book (I would’ve shared this, but he didn’t feel like putting clothes on for the video haha).

3) I started a little personalized “I can” book for him in a Word document:

And 4) I stumbled upon a Barney (yes the big purple dinosaur) video called “I Can Do That” featuring a group of friends playing “I Can _____” and then putting on a skit about it.

These tips are NOT a short-term “cure” for the I can’ts!  All of these ideas are things I am currently teaching toward a GOAL that we can replace “I can’t” with “I can.”  I’m sure there will be plenty of reminders 🙂

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6 Comments on Remedy for the little one with the “I can’t” bug!

  1. Ali
    July 10, 2012 at 9:48 am (6 years ago)

    Loved this one! Great ideas! Sean Patrick’s cousin, Presley, who is 4 years old, has started saying “I never…” when I tell her she can’t do something. The funny part (or not so funny when she is doing it) is that 90% of the time it’s not something that I have ever told her “no” about before… “I never get to watch that show (when she has never asked to or it’s a brand new show,” “I never get to eat that cupcake,” when it is a new thing of cupcakes we just picked up from the store,” “I never get to sit in that chair,” when we are at a place we have never been before and she is fighting with her older sister over “who” is going to sit in a particular chair. Pretty funny.. poor Presley, she “never” gets to do anything (she hasn’t done before!!!)

    • jcook3
      July 11, 2012 at 7:45 am (6 years ago)

      Haha Thanks for sharing this Ali. I can hear Presley’s sweet little voice saying this which is why I can’t help but laugh. The baby of the fam and little sister to a very independent Kaylee, trying to keep up and feel just as entitled to everything Kaylee “gets to do.” One day she will see all the perks to being the baby of the fam 😉

  2. Esther
    July 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm (6 years ago)

    Those are great ideas. Here are two more strategies for you to try. I would extend the ‘I can’ book a step further by highlighting all the things he can do by himself (e.g. I can draw, I can dance or sing etc). I would also practice asking for help but before he does, he has to try first for 30 seconds to a minute. You can model it for him during play (e.g. when you are completing a short wood puzzle), pretend you do not know where the pieces go and ask for his help. Good luck!

    • jcook3
      July 11, 2012 at 7:33 am (6 years ago)

      These are great extension applications! Thanks for sharing Esther! Share your thoughts and insights with us any time!

  3. Esther
    July 13, 2012 at 11:50 am (6 years ago)

    You are very welcome J! I hope my suggestions are helpful to your little one.


  4. Lisa
    July 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi Jessica, this is a great post. Early childhood is when kids need to have the opportunities to overcome their fears and have(positive) experiences that can shape their perspectives for the future. i am def a propronent of the nurture part, (nature vs nurture theory). kudos !


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