4 simple words. I laughed the first time the Coach at my son’s sportball class made all the 3 year olds raise their thumbs up into the air and repeat “Je suis capable, I can do it.” I thought it was cute and it made me chuckle inside. But those 4 words have come to mean a lot more than a little chuckle in our house.
I first attempted reusing this “technique” during a major meltdown as I like to call it. Some call them temper tantrums, some call them the terrible twos or the terrible threes. Whatever you want to call it, we’re in the thick of it. I have a strong-willed, independent child who wants to do everything “all by myself.” Including attaching the 5 point harness of the car seat. You know the buckle system that has been engineered to protect children’s safety in the incident of an automobile accident? My son insists on buckling this “all by myself.” But this is a very difficult task for his little fingers that are still developing dexterity. Sometimes this means I’ll sit and wait 10-15 minutes before we drive off, sometimes I don’t have that kind of time so it means I buckle it and I hear blood curdling screaming until our next destination. So lately before he has a chance to get frustrated and start with the whiny “I cant’s”, I tell him to put his thumb up in the air and say “I can do it.” I’ve been using the 4 words as a positive mantra for my 3 year old. And you know what? It works.
And of course once he’s buckled I make sure to high five him and insist that he says “I did it.” The proud smile that beams across his face is priceless. So I have found it’s worth a little patience, a little persistence, and a lot of “I can do it” chanting.
This isn’t just a lesson for someone with a toddler. Believe me this mantra also works for young and old alike. The mind is a powerful tool and your body hears everything your mind is saying.
To my Challengers this month who have committed to 21 days of a healthier lifestyle, say “I can do it.” To my 3 year old trying to cut with scissors, or put on his own shoes, or buckle his own seat belt, say “I can do it.” To any of you out there starting a new workout program or trying to run your first 5k, say “I can do it.” Put your mind to it, and yes you CAN do it.
Have a great week,