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CAN’T is for Wusses

Why CAN’T is banned in our house…

One of the things we noticed recently, was that Georgia had picked up and was very generously sharing was the use of the word Can’t.

Being Asian, born and bred, we have grown up rather far removed from the Can’t ideology, “You do as you’re told” was the overarching philosophy of the day. Not that you couldn’t ever say Can’t, you had to have at least tried before you gave up!

And because we generally are pretty optimistic, positive people (at least I like to believe so!) we found then as Can’t became more and more prevalent in our household, it became both frustrating and annoying, and we just had to do something about it.

It was extremely encouraging to read then, in Jack Canfield’s book, Success Principles, that one should never ever use the word Can’t. In it’s essence, Can’t is the epitome of self-limit. It imposes a restriction within the mind, before one is even able or willing to try something.

When children start using Can’t as an excuse not to do something, it seems to completely negate all possibility, all hope of even trying, it becomes both frustrating and really quite sad.

When you think about it, Can or Can’t both refer to choices (a positive choice or a negative choice) however it is very different from I don’t want to, I will not or I should not all of which state a preference.

And so we set forth to restrict the use of the word Can’t. In our house, you’re allowed to state a preference preferably with an explanation, I’d rather not (Don’t want to),  you’re allowed to decline, No thank you but Can’t is simply unacceptable.

Generally though, our main response to ‘I can’t’ tends to be ‘You CAN, you just need to try!’

And how has it been going? Great! Given that, because can’t as an automatic response is no longer acceptable, Georgia has started to weigh up her responses and think about whether she really doesn’t want to do something, and for what reason.

Apart from the obvious (swear words et al.), are there any words that are ‘banned’ in your house? Why?

Apr 10, 2011 - Food, Life    3 Comments

Scenes from the weekend

Saturday 9th April 2011 – Tenkaichi for lunch, Penarth Pier for Ice creams

Sunday 10th April 2011 – First Barbecue

Apr 3, 2011 - Family, Food, Life, Parenting    4 Comments

Wow! Breakfast in bed!

“Mummy, it’s morning time!” It was slightly before 6 am, and as I heard Georgia’s footsteps shuffling along the short corridor joining our rooms, I braced for her to climb over me, or in between us, and as I waited, I heard her creep over to her dad’s side and with a rather loud whisper, “Dad, it’s morning time!” Read more »

Feb 25, 2011 - Culture, Food, Life, Parenting    3 Comments

My Many Faces of Parenting and a Parenting Compass

As Georgia progressively interacts with more and more with people outside of our home and our immediate circle of friends, I have become more aware of how many different ‘parenting faces’ I have and which I call upon depending on the situations.

It often feels as if we have an embedded inner compass of actions, reactions and culture that unfortunately, unlike a true magnetic compass that points due North; this inner compass often flip-flops between East or West (cultural influences) and all points in between.

Parenting Compass

I have often attributed a large part of this, to the fact that we are parenting and raising a child in a culture and environment so completely different from the one we were raised in (being immigrants).

Beyond cultural influences, however, it has also occurred to me that technology, the changes of societal demands and simply how things have changed over a generation is reason enough to continuously reflect on and question the decisions we now make, or have to make, as parents.

The oft-heard cry of ‘Back in my day…’ is universal; we have added recently though a ‘We do not do that…’ to our arsenal of reasons or excuses, often, rightly or wrongly (any thoughts would be welcome here!) with a cultural implication.

An example is saying ‘Yuck!’ to food. Read more »

Dec 11, 2010 - Food, Parenting    No Comments

Festive profiteroles

Since Georgia started at school I’ve tried to make an effort to contribute to school events when I can.

So when it came to the turn of the Reception class to hold a cake sale I knew that I was going to contribute what I hadn’t decided was what that contribution would be or whether I would cheat and buy it from the shop (!)

And so I kept thinking and thinking… And I spent so long thinking that on the day of the cake sale I still hadn’t decided. Worse still there were so many things on my to do list that day that once the computer was on time just flew by and Finally at 1pm… I knew I had to decide the cake sale was starting at 3!

The toss up was between muffins – quick and easy or profiteroles which for some bizarre reason I absolutely love making apart from the slight challenge of not having cream to fill the profiteroles!

So there it was, I managed to make 18 profiteroles in an hour DH kindly got the cream from the local shop.

I’ll have to admit making profiteroles under pressure wasn’t easy the first batch of mix didn’t turn out right it was like pancake mixture instead of the firmer texture it should have been so thankfully I had enough of everything to make another batch!

They smelt so so yummy but that’s all I had … Smells 🙂 it was tempting to buy some back from the cake sale but Georgia isn’t a fan of profiteroles and she did the choosing.
So we went to the cake sale with …


Close up they looked like…

And we came home with …


All in a days work 🙂

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