Helping Your Children Believe That They Can

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My mother was a master at helping me believe that I could accomplish things. As I grew up, she taught me: “Can’t never could do anything.”

 Mother, Daddy, Steve, and Me

Mother not only told me that “Can’t never could do anything,” she demonstrated it every day — and so did her mother. I am deeply grateful for their example and for Mother’s memorable phrase.

Believing you can is a vital step toward accomplishment. This portion of a song that Fred Rogers wrote and sang on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood gives the next step:

“You’ve got to do it, do it, do it, and when you’re through, you can know who did it, for you did it, you did it, you did it.”

I don’t want to be one of those people on the sidelines of life watching other people do while I sit by afraid— or complaining. I don’t want my children to be fearful, complaining sitters either.

In the last week of Jesus’ life before His death and resurrection, He talked about fear in the parable of the talents. He told about a man who gave similar instructions to three of his slaves before he left on a journey. Two of the slaves responded by doing. The third slave responded with inaction and fear. It was the first two slaves who heard the words, “Well done.”

The world has plenty of folks who talk about what is wrong with this or that or what ought to be done about this or that. Let’s raise up a generation of people who do. Let’s encourage the children in our lives to do it, do it, do it, ’cause when they do, they’ll know who did it, ’cause they did it, they did it, they did it. Let’s believe in them and be their champions, ’cause after all, can’t never could do anything.

Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue,
but in deed and truth.
1 John 3:18



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