Welcome to Guest Post Month at the MOB Society! Today’s post is from Lindsey Hartz. She is a project manager for fellow writers, creatives, dreamers and Kingdom pursuers. She is also grateful to be the mother of a pre-teen son and daughter…MOST of the time. In those rare moments when the tears and drama are too much, her go to’s are scripture, chocolate and more chocolate. You can connect with her on Twitter. Please welcome her!
I can’t, mom, I can’t.
If I had to describe the words I’ve heard most often from my son these last few months, this would be it.
He’s a bright boy, full of laughter and fun. He’s also an introvert…if he had his way, he’d read books all day and never have to deal with social niceties or people outside his safe circle – me, his father, his sister. While he appreciates the friends he has, he craves times of quiet to regroup and recharge, but doesn’t always handle that need in a way others kids can understand. School has been a challenge socially and emotionally, and more often than not he comes home feeling like he has failed again and again.
We’ve worked hard to nurture his God-given personality…to talk about all the ways he can and does bring unique value and creativity to the world. We talk about fear and how he should never be afraid to be himself, to try new things, to take leaps of faith.
But lately, anytime we pressed him to try anything new his “I can’t” mantra springs to the surface quickly and repeatedly.
Not long ago, tears fell after a particular hard day. His feelings had been hurt and he whispered into my shoulder those dreaded words.
As a mom, my hope and prayer has always been to find a healthy balance between respecting how he was made while also encouraging him to grow. As he sat crying, I realized that deep down his issue wasn’t that he “couldn’t”…it was that he didn’t believe Truth. I also realized that this was an unhealthy coping mechanism for him…a seemingly safe way to deal with the pressure he felt he was under.
Where reason and logic had failed, I knew scripture would not.
We grabbed a pen and paper and I had him write down everything he felt he couldn’t do. I watched as he wrote things like “I can’t be brave”, “I can’t be helpful”, “I can’t be nice”.
Then I had him write down this verse.
His face lit up as he read the verse out loud, wrote down “Lies” by his list of I cant’s and ”Truth” next to his scripture verse. The difference in my son since this time has been astounding. Whenever he feels like he “can’t,” he runs to his bulletin board, reads this note, and remembers that he indeed “can.”
Q: Does your son struggle with this? How have you helped him?
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Wonderful post, Lindsey! I too have a child that suffers from I can’t and many times it is more “I won’t.” I love what you did with your son and will definitely keep that in mind. I too struggles to find a healthy balance between respecting how he was made while also encouraging him to grow. It has been getting easier with age, but, still it can be a struggle at times. Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks Ann-Marie! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post.
My son (who is now 12) use to say that “he couldn’t” do this or that all the time. I bought him a little plaque and a wristband that had this scripture written on it. So anytime he tries to tell me that he can’t do something, I remind him of this scripture.
I love the wristband idea! I’ll have to do that also! Thanks for reading.
Love this idea. My son is struggling with some of the same issues and I think this will really help him. Thank you for sharing.
My pleasure! Thanks for stopping by!