Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Growing up Girl: "I Can't Do it"

Yes, that's EG's face that I superimposed on the Rosie the Riveter.  But honestly, that's how I feel!
Recently my daughter has taken up a new favorite phrase.  One that pains me to the depth of my soul, and not one she picked-up from us.  It's "I Can't Do it"

If we look back at little EG (Exuberant Girl's) history, we'll see that some of her first phrases did come from us and they included things like "I got it" and "I do it".  Throughout the blog and in the pages of her baby book are photos of her doing lots and lots of things.  I've shared the one of her climbing the ladder before 18months, and talked about her being my adventurous chick.  Last month when I took her to the aquarium she touched the sting ray, and just this weekend at the zoo she wasn't afraid of the milipede or the hedgehog.

But sometime in the past month she's picked up this phrase "I can't do it."  She's using it all the time, and everytime I hear it I try really really hard not to scream.  I asked my husband about it (yes, it's true, a lot of times when she says something I don't like it's come from him.  This includes the 'calm down' when crying phrase that I also hate) but he promised me it didn't come from him.

We're both those kind of hands-off encouragement kind of parents.  You know, the ones who let their kids take risks at the park, who rarely stop their child from trying anything unless it's overtly dangerous (the stove) or damaging to other people's property (trampling the flowers).  I don't hover, I just let her do.  I've heard other parents say "you are too little" but I don't really believe in that.

Finally I asked her teacher, and she pinpointed it in 15 seconds.  One of EG's friends at school has this saying all locked up in her little mouth.  Granted, she's older than EG, and I don't really think she means it when she says it.  It's much more likely that she's using it to get something done for her, she's a smart cookie that way.

But what about EG.  I watch her struggle with something, something I know she can do, and out of her mouth tumbles this phrase.  These words that I'm afraid will color her entire world if they get to out of hand.  I want her to know it's okay to fail- she seems to be okay with that one (as the bruises and trying again would tell me) but what about the words.  Even if her actions say she's going for it, what does it mean if her words don't?

I've tried telling her she can do it, continued to let her try long after she's come out with that phrase.  But I worry none-the-less.  It's hard growing up girl today...

We've talked about other girly issues here, here, and here...

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