Last summer I spent some time in Door County Wisconsin with my youngest daughters.

We spent one morning at the hotel pool and my seven-year-old daughter struggled to follow her big sister’s instructions on how to float properly.

“I can’t!” was her constant refrain that morning.

There was no reasoning with her because she was worked up with anxiety.

Later as we enjoyed hamburgers at the nearby diner I told her she should stop letting “Can’t” sneak into her mouth.

We started talking about “Can’t’ as if it was a character in her story.

This made her feel as if she actually had power over “Can’t.”

The next time she was at the pool, sure enough, “Can’t” barged in again.

But she would catch herself, smile, and put her hand over her mouth.

Adults are perhaps even more susceptible than kids to “Can’t.”

But does “Can’t’ really deserve a place in your everyday narrative?

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Filed under: AnxietyParentingStories/Storytelling

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