Even my own kids say it, numerous times a day.
"I can't do it dad, it's too hard."
Cleaning up the blocks, putting their socks on, going for a hike on the trail, swimming across the pool, jumping off the diving board or even finishing their dinner.
I refuse to let them slide. I refuse to let them quit. I refuse to have any notion of not being able to do something creep into their brain. They have it inside, we all do!
No, I'm not crazy. Yes I've read the book 'Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mom' and I'm not that far to the right. But we have to push our kids, we have to help them find what's inside of them, they have it inside - I know they do.
Yes, I laugh at home all the time, joke around with my kids all the time, cut them slack on certain things, let them stay up late on occasion - but I firmly believe that we must hold our children accountable. This builds grit and resilience in them that they're going to need later in life.
Life is hard. I've had my back against the wall numerous times throughout my life, for a multitude of different reasons.
Thirteen years ago I was a 5th grade teacher and we were at outdoor school. They had a climbing wall and one of our parents who was also our reading specialist was totally checking it out.
"Carol, you should climb the wall."
"No way, I'm not strong enough and I'm afraid of heights."
"You can do it Carol, just start and go halfway up."
"Ok, I can at least try."
Fast forward and Carol is halfway up the wall!
"I'm done, coming down."
"No, you got this Carol - keep going, all the way. Go go go!"
She keeps going, and going and going.
Ding - Carol rings the bell, she made it to the top.
"I can't believe I climbed all the way up, I'm shaking."
Everyone has it inside, kids, adults - we have to find ways to help each other find their inner greatness.
If you have someone who doesn't believe, help them to build that belief. Please have high expectations of our kids, they may complain, whine, drag their feet, argue, say they can't do it - hold their hand if you need to, but help them to find their inner greatness.