Of all the words I don’t like to hear my kids say, there’s a certain four-letter one that really gets my goat.  Any guesses?

It’s the c-word.


Can’t is a four-letter word.  It’s the most limiting word in the English language.  It drives me nuts.

At the park near our house yesterday, the boys decided to make an attempt at a great tree.  It has a long, low, horizontal trunk, perfect for beginning climbers.  And Nicky and Kalen are definitely beginners.  For some reason, the climbing that comes naturally to so many kids has never been something they’ve been interested in.  They’re actually pretty timid about it.  A few seconds into the process, I heard shrieks and that dreaded c-word.  Kalen was clinging to the the trunk, unable to move forward or backward in his panic.  (Which, honestly, was rather hilarious, given the fact that he was about two-and-a-half feet off the ground.)

After helping him back off a bit, we strategized, and I informed him that he was not giving up, and he was not to use the word “can’t”.  And what do you know?


Less than a minute later:


Look at the pride on that boy’s face!  Love it.

Nicky began, and right off the bat faced a huge problem – this tree has been climbed by thousands of children, and it is slippery.  His shoes are old, with zero tread, so I suggested removing them.  The look on his face as he processed his mother suggesting shoe removal at a park was priceless.  (I’m a stickler for shoes and socks at playgrounds.  One too many run-ins with mulch and sandal-wearing feet.  Ouch.)

Toes make great grips.