First, Can’t-Do Goes Solo…
and then, Can’t-Do Teams Up with Too-Tired.
One of the most rewarding experiences I have in working with children is having a child join me in the fall and hearing from a parent in a very short time that their ‘timid child’ or their ‘negative’ child or their ‘defiant’ child has become so positive and self-confident.
Strong as it sounds, the reality is that the Can’t-Do Crabbie can really do a number on children. It impacts both how they think of themselves AND how others view them.
Beating Can’t-Do is very rewarding because of the confidence we gain in being able to do something we first see as difficult or something that we are afraid to even try. This is true for adults as much as it is for children. Teaching kids at a young age how to beat Can’t-Do gives them an incredible gift: Confidence! Confidence that sticks with them into their adult life.
For more basic Can’t-Do info, visit our website under Crabbies. We talk about the multiple faces of Can’t-Do. For the purposes of this post I will first address how to manage Can’t-Do when your child is faced with something they really cannot yet do and then second, when Too-Tired is – an often ‘hidden’ – part of the problem.
Setting your child up for success when they are faced with something completely new that they really won’t be able to do at first.
Sometimes your child may state, “I can’t” because they legitimately do not know how to do what is being asked of them. In these cases, it is important to teach them and to help them. This often requires breaking things down step-by-step or helping them master an easier task first. Another good strategy is to offer to do things together, with them taking on more responsibility than before at the same time that you help do things that are beyond their current ability level. Think of first time bowling (or anything else new). To start, use guard rails. At first the ball bounces off them a lot. They keep your child from getting frustrated and giving up because the ball hits some pins. Fun! So confidence grows. And with time, practice, feedback and fun – Bye-Bye Guard Rails!
Whether your child is going to do something completely new or something they have done many times before, if they are tired, the chances of Can’t-Do being an issue is very close to 100%.
Fact #1: It does not matter how justifiable the reason for your child being tired is, the truth is that it is highly likely that being tired will come back to bite you when it comes to Can’t-Do.
Fact #2: It comes back to bite you because when they go to try something familiar or something new, even if they are not dealing with Too-Tired in that moment, the memory of the struggles of the previous attempts that didn’t work because of Too-Tired kicks in so that Can’t-Do still gets his foothold even without Too-Tired being right there.
I cannot stress enough how vital it is to recognize when Too-Tired is behind Can’t-Do when it comes to turning things around and changing your child’s ability to tackle those hopeless feelings that are behind Can’t-Do.
The good news is that as complicated as this sometimes seems, the amazing reality is that once you recognize when Too-Tired is the issue it is no longer complicated.
The first step is explaining calmly and kindly to the child that you know the real issue is that Too-Tired is teaming up with Can’t-Do.
Note: If you are in the early stages of being a CrabbieMaster yourself, recognize that over time your child will trust what you are saying in these situations. Adult/Child relationships are built over time. It is about intentionally creating positive interactions. Little by little. This is what CrabbieMasters is about.
The second step is to work with the child to first beat Too-Tired and then tackle something that they will be able to have success with to rebuild some ‘can-do’ confidence. And then move on again to try whatever’s harder!
Please feel free to comment here or private message me with your struggles or successes when it comes to beating Can’t-Do. The goal of CrabbieMasters is to build a supportive community.
Make it a good day.
Sometimes, the Crabbies aren’t as tough as they think they are.
Can’t-Do is happy to be home after all the traveling the Crabbies did. But, getting Can’t-Do home wasn’t easy.
He was afraid to take a plane.
He was afraid to take a train.
And there was no way he was getting on the subway!
He wouldn’t get on a boat
And he wouldn’t ride a goat.
He refused to get in a car.
And so, he walked.
That’s why the Crabbies took so long to get home. Too bad they don’t know how to POWER-UP! Tee hee. It’s a secret. We won’t tell them how to do it.
Shhhhhhhh! Let’s keep it our secret!
This is an exciting day! You see, the CrabbieMasters are challenging the Crabbies to a baseball game.
This all came about when the CrabbieMasters were trying to play ball in the park one day not long ago. King, Too-Tired and Hungry showed up… trying their hardest to ruin the game. Too-Tired tried to tire out the pitcher and Hungry was busy making sure no one stopped playing long enough to break for lunch.
Finally, Jay made an offer.
“Hey, King. Why don’t you get your Crabbies together and we’ll challenge you to a game of baseball.”
“You got it! Just say when,” King said.
“One week from today. Meet here at noon.”
And so the game was on…
“Strike one! Strike two! Strike three! You’re out!” The umpire called out as Kay returned to the dugout.
“Don’t worry, Kay,” Jay said. “We have two more chances.”
“It’s… it’s… it’s out of the field!”
Home run for Jay!
With a score of 1-0 at the bottom of the first, Hurry-Up took to the plate.
It’s a hit! And he’s off… first… second… third… and he’s home! He’s pretty fast in those inline skates. The score is now 1-1.
The game went on with one team scoring one point and the other team scoring one point.
Then came the tie-breaker…
Kay was at the plate. Can’t-Do was pitching. “Na, na, na, na!” Can’t-Do chanted at Kay. “You can’t do it. You can’t hit the ball. Come on, Kay, let’s see a strike.”
“Strike one!” the umpire called.
Oh no. This was it. Full count. Bases loaded. Can’t-Do taunting and teasing.
“Don’t pay attention to Can’t-Do,” Jay yelled. “Just focus on the ball. Keep your eye on the ball.”
Kay did as Jay said, and she watched as the ball came toward her. She swung! She hit! Boy, did she hit! Over the fence and into Mrs. Wilder’s flower bed.
“Homerun!” the umpire shouted. The game was over. CrabbieMasters won! Kay was carried off the field by her teammates and the Crabbies crawled away.
Mrs. Wilder came over and handed Kay the game ball. “Great game, kids! Be sure to stop over when you leave and I’ll give you some nice peaches to take home.”
Team CrabbieMasters had a great day. They won the game and they got to pick some yummy peaches from Mrs. Wilder’s tree.
And that made everyone very happy!
As the preschoolers were sitting with me the other day, they were recalling the obstacle course the older kids had made last summer.
One of them asked, “Miss Becky, can we do that tomorrow?”
Suddenly, three Crabbies were standing right there in front of me!
“You still have to help the kids sign all those autograph dogs. You can’t set up an obstacle course too! Tell them there is no time. There’s just no way. They’ll have to wait for another day.”
While the Crabbies were talking to me, I could hear another child ask, “Can we, Miss Becky? Can we do an obstacle course tomorrow?”
This time I answered, “It would be fun, but I don’t think we can. We have to sign all the dogs tomorrow, and I have to manage that. I won’t have time to set up an obstacle course and get lunch ready too.”
One by one, the kids showed me they are CrabbieMasters:
“Miss Becky, we can’t let Can’t-Do win.”
“Half of us can sign the dogs while the other half works on the obstacle course. Then we can switch.”
“If we all pitch in, Hurry-Up won’t have a chance!”
“We can help you, Miss Becky!”
As I said, “Okay. Let’s give it a try,” I watched the three Crabbies out of the corner of my eye. I watched them quickly slump away.
“Whew!” I thought. “They almost had me today!”
How did it all work out, you ask?
Well… see for yourself!
Another fun way to keep the Crabbies at bay!
Today was a very exciting day for Jay and Kay Gray. You see, Can’t-Do snuck up on CrabbieMaster Frankie as she was learning the yo-yo.
Frankie tried and tried but the yo-yo wouldn’t come back up once she let it down. She was getting frustrated.
“I can’t do this,” she said. “I give up. It’s too hard.”
Fortunately, Frankie was trying to yo-yo in front of Miss Jenna’s house. She heard the commotion and rushed outside. Can’t-Do gets easily distracted by Miss Jenna, so when he was distracted, Jay and Kay came along.
“What’s the matter?” Kay asked Frankie, seeing her frustration.
“I… I can’t get this yo-yo to work,” Frankie cried.
Jay looked around and saw Miss Jenna was keeping Can’t-Do occupied. “Here, Frankie. Hand me your yo-yo and I’ll show you how. It’s really easy.”
Both Jay and Kay took turns showing Frankie how to do it, and after only a few tries the yo-yo went down, up, down, up, down and back up again. Jay and Kay were so excited and happy for Frankie.
Jay looked over and Miss Jenna was still talking to Can’t-Do. CrabbieMasters don’t usually get the Crabbies to go away by distracting them, but it was fun!
Sometimes it’s just cool to be different. Today was one of those days! And best of all, Frankie can now yo-yo like a pro!
Where have we been? Well, it’s a long story but we’ll make it short. Get-Along didn’t think we made him look favorable enough in our last blog post, so he made an appearance and brought Can’t-Do with him.
The CrabbieMasters Team had to wrangle with a malfunctioning website. We knew Get-Along and Can’t-Do were causing our problems, but we couldn’t catch them.
Crabbies can be very sneaky, and sometimes they succeed in getting into our day. We knew we needed Paul, our IT guy. He came to the rescue as did all the other CrabbieMasters. With everyone ‘Powered-Up,’ we were able to get our website back up.
We hope too many of you weren’t inconvenienced. Some said they could still get to our page, but others said they couldn’t. And… we couldn’t for a while.
We put Can’t-Do and Get-Along on notice. They won’t be messing with our website anymore!
We’ll be back tomorrow with something fun for all you kids! Until then, be sure to keep the Crabbies away from your computer!
Bye for now,