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the "i cant" stage

how did yall ladies handle the i cant stage. one of my twin boys justs keeps saying "i cant" to anything and everything that he doesnt want to do. like he went into his brothers room, and i told him to get out and he shut the door and just kept saying "i cant" or when he doesnt want to eat something he says "i cant" how did yall handle this? his brother doesnt do it at all. its just him


Asked by michelle.coppes at 11:55 AM on Feb. 1, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • Uh-oh, is this what comes after the "why?" stage? We're not quite there yet, though our almost-three year-old says "I can't sleep by myself, I CAN'T" every night -- um, dear, you've been doing it since you were four months old! Instinctively, I think I'd try something like, "of course you can, now do it" and then after that, "if you're not big enough to do x [the thing I'm expecting you to do], you probably can't do y [the thing you love to do], either. Is that true?"

    Answer by EmilySusan at 12:35 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • oh, honey, that's not a stage; that's your life from now until the end of time. lol ok, j/k. Seriously, I just told my kids that I knew if they really tried, they could do whatever it was. I've also never been above bribery (I even bribe SO sometimes.). When it's something you know with no doubt he can do (shutting the door, flushing the toilet, etc.), you can also try telling him that if he says he can't when you know perfectly well he can, he'll be punished. That sometimes works.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 12:20 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • Ugh we are there also. Everything is " I can't" or "you do it". I agree with what emily susan says. I use the big kid card a lot. For example when she says "I can't put my pajamas on" I say "You can't? Hmm I thought you could, I thought you were a big kid" That usually gets her going.


    Answer by lilysmom2607 at 1:26 PM on Feb. 1, 2010

  • I have twin boys as well. Just ignore him and walk away. for a while. It may he just wants attention.

    Or, play his game and the next time he asks you to do something say "I can't". LOL! A taste of his own medicine may be the remedy he needs.

    Another option would be that when he wants to go or do something say "you couldn't I guess you cant's do this./ If he insists, then tell him to show you he can do what ever he had refused to do first (make him correct his negative). then when he finishes the task, give him to let him do what he wants. After he does what is expected, say good job buddy, I knew you could do it.

    Good luck, they WILL TRY you.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:35 PM on Feb. 1, 2010