I love writing and sharing my thoughts. I love putting into words my thoughts, not only to share and hopefully inspire someone else, but also so that in 5, 10, or 20 years I can re-read my thoughts and reflect upon that time in my life. Maybe the words will make me laugh, bring tears, or I may have developed a completely new stance and just shake my head at my ‘former self’. I also love sharing workouts & healthy recipes, and while I would love to turn this into a profitable side business, I have so many other priorities that the idea of making writing a requirement isn’t appealing at this time. Maybe that will change in future months/ years, maybe not! So, whether only 3 close family members read or somehow a post becomes a viral internet sensation, right now it is just about putting my thoughts into words and using this medium to document and share those thoughts.
While a lot has transpired in the last 16 months since my last post, including running another BQ time and this year getting accepted for the 2020 Boston Marathon, we will skip over all that (at this point) and jump right into my thoughts from last night.
There are lots of four letter words we don’t want our children saying, but one word that is never included in that list is the C word…CAN’T. This is a word that is used so often by both children & adults, people never really think before it comes out of their mouth. It is so ingrained in our vocabulary; however, if you sit back and think for a moment about why you say “can’t”, it is rarely because we actually cannot do something. Maybe the word can’t stems from fear, whether being physically afraid of the task or fear of failure, or maybe it stems from another word that starts with a c…CHOICE. Often we say I can’t do something but really we are choosing not to try or we are making the choice to not make it a priority.
While on my bike on the trainer, with my kiddo roaming all around the garage, I started thinking about these two C words and how it relates to much of our adult life. As part of my professional career, I work to encourage employees to cultivate their own healthy lifestyle. In this role I have heard the word “can’t” more times than I can count. While occasionally the reasons may be valid, most of the times the reason is that people make the choice to not make physical activity or healthy nutrition a priority. As a full-time working mom with a kiddo who has activities 5 out of 7 nights a week, I can understand and empathize. However, I have made the choice to make my health a priority and part of that means my workouts non-negotiable (most days). On the days I skip workouts it is because I made the choice to prioritize something else that day…and that is ok. But it is important to understand it is a choice…not because I “can’t” do it.
While the c-word is most often used as “I choose not” in our adult lives, when it comes to children, the “c-word” often stems from fear. When I hear my 3 year old say “can’t”, I stop him right there and ask the ever important question “why do you think you can’t”? From there we work to build up his confidence and encourage him to give it a try with all his might. While often he actually does achieve what he was trying to do, the times that he may not achieve the task initially, he learns that he can try and over time he may just get there. Failing is not a bad thing, but not trying is not okay. In fact encouraging our children to work on challenging tasks helps develop a growth mindset. Research shows that it is better to give a child praise for effort rather than praise for their success or intelligence. Those who were praised for their effort pursued more challenging tasks, while those who were praised for their success favored tasks they knew they could perform well. So the next time your child says the C-word, encourage them to try and be sure to always praise their effort no matter the end result.