Can’t / Yet

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A friend was thinking about the power of language and she sent me this note about her three-year-old daughter.

“I have trained my 3-year-old to say ‘I haven’t figured it out yet’ instead of ‘I can’t.’

We’ve been working on it for 1-2 years, and now she says the desired phrase during an effort, without being reminded.

In times past, if she left out the ‘yet’, I reminded her of that as well. That word is everything.

I never disagreed with her. I simply asked her to say the desired phrase. And then I asked, ‘So what are you going to do next, then?’ And she’d work on it some more, whatever she was doing.

It’s amazing what becomes possible with that phrase. Now one of her frequent phrases is ‘I did it!’

She is a capable little person, more so every day, and whereas she used to give up easily (by pretending to be interested in something else all of a sudden … I spotted this trend from infancy), she now knows herself as a capable human being. I’m so proud of her.”

*

Image: Cinerarias in the conservatory in Fitzroy Gardens, Melbs

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