Every prudent man acts with knowledge, But a fool displays folly. ~ Proverbs 13:16 NASB
I am a fool. All this time I’ve been teaching my children the value of having an “I can do this” attitude. The word “can’t” is not recognized as a valid argument. They try and if they still cannot accomplish the task, they ask for assistance.
So I wonder why, after such consistency in our training, they still use the dreaded C word. It’s like nails on a chalkboard and grates on my mama heart.
We’ve all heard the phrase,
Do what I say, not what I do.
I’m here as a first-hand witness to the fact that phrase is categorically incorrect.
My children were only following the lead of their foolish mama.
I say all the right things. But as for following my own instruction, I cannot seem to do that.
So my husband called from work to let me know that our smashed up car still had the plates attached and with the salvage company coming to get it, we would need to remove the plates. We have a new car (new to us anyway) purchased and wanted to just switch the plates to that one.
Without hesitation my first response was, “What am I supposed to do about that?”
See what I did there? I didn’t actually say I can’t do it. I just beat the bush to pieces in a more subtle way. I was still saying, “I can’t do this. You do it for me.”
After he got off the phone and we ended our conversation on less than pleasant terms, I realized the gravity of what I had done. I also realized with shame, that my children were watching the entire exchange and had heard my defeatist words. I’m positive that if I continue on the path I’m taking, my children will also learn how to be more subtle in their, “I can’ts.”
I called my husband back to apologize for my “I Can’t” attitude, and I made a genuine attempt at removing the plates. While I succeeded at one of them, I did still ask my husband if he could help me with the other one. This time, he gave a definite YES.
And yeah, my children watched that conversation too.