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2 Bumps

How do you stop the "I CAN'T!" in a 3 year old?

My daughter says "I CAN'T" about everything.

Trying to put socks on? "I CAN'T!"

Getting in the carseat? "I CAN'T!"

Putting her jacket on? "I CAN'T!"

Eating dinner? "I CAN'T!"

"I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!""I CAN'T!"

HOW do I make this stop? Lol. She has done these things for forever now and suddenyl everything is "I CAN'T!"

Tips? Advice? Please? :)

 
Memigen

Asked by Memigen at 9:41 AM on Jan. 19, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 27 (30,799 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • when my son tells me he cant do something i tell him oh ok i guess baby k**** needs mommy to dress him and feed him. calling him a baby usually stops the i cants. he likes to be a big boy
    knagsmom

    Answer by knagsmom at 10:37 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • With my 4 year old son it was colors, reading, finding something.  Everything became "I can't".  The way he said it was so down on himself.  Finally I said "Yes the hell you can.  You can do this and whatever else you choose to and if I hear that again I will put soap in your mouth".  I didn't actually need the soap but he stopped saying it and started DOING instead of saying "I can't".  I don't recommend this, just saying my experience.  With my 3 year old I tell her "yes you can now do it".  That works for her. 

    MrsHouston47302

    Answer by MrsHouston47302 at 9:49 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • Don 't give in. Tell her that since she wants to act like a baby, you're going to start treating her like one, ( ie putting her to bed earlier, no tv, whatever it is that "big girls" do)
    Bethsunshine

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 9:49 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • WELL DO YOU DO IT FOR HER WHEN SHE SAYS THAT? IF YOU DO I WOULD STOP. SHE WILL OUT GROW THIS AS THEY ALL DO SHE WANTS YOU TO DO IT FOR HER,IT MIGHT MAKE HER FEEL IMPORTANT IF SHE FEELS SHE IS BEONG IGNORED, IM NOT SAYING YOU ARE IGNORING HER BUT SHE DOES IT TO GET YOUR GOAT. DONT LET IT BOTHER YOU. SHOW HER SHE CAN DO IT HERSELD BUT SHOWING HER HOW YOU PUT ON YOUR JACKET!!!! SEE MOMMY IS A BIG GIRL AND SHE CAN DO IT??? BUG GIRLS DRESS THEMSELVES THEN GIVE HER A BIG GIRL TREAT GOOD LUCK
    CHEROKEE09

    Answer by CHEROKEE09 at 10:57 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • My three year old doesn't say I can't but "I want Mommy do it" about everything from putting on clothes to picking up a toy to play with or wanting me to hand him things he drops etc. I try to remember it's hard to be a big boy sometimes and am patient about it. It doesn't mean I do it for him every time or that I don't encourage him to do it on his own but I don't let it bother me or act irritated about it.
    Luuckymommy

    Answer by Luuckymommy at 11:35 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • I'm just wondering, was there a recent family seperation, death, something, to provoke the child's extra security needs? Cuase I'm seeing it not as a "I can't" but as a "help me do I want you here" thing, simply based on your responses. I'm not judging just trying to guess, becuase say there was a security issue, I'd LET the child regress for awhile and slowly coach them back into confidence. Intolerance will only hurt that fragile self esteem worse. On, the other hand, if its simply the ADD problem,try this: do what my mom did for me. Say, "Ok dont then" and walk away. Unless its a medical emergency, stopping the plans and letting them miss out on thingswon't kill you. I may even encourage an, "oh, crap, if I cant do it, and nobody else will, it wont happen :( I've got to!" response. (at least it did for me as a child)
    GaurdianSage826

    Answer by GaurdianSage826 at 6:11 AM on Jan. 20, 2011

  • I have put her to bed early... she doesn't care. I have said since you can't eat dinner... then go to bed. If you can't put on your jacket then go without one.

    I have tried re-enforcing a positive attitude and ensuring her she can. She still continues to scream CAN'T.

    This has been an ongoing issue for a couple months or more now and I'm really getting to my wits end. :(

    She is an extremely pig headed child (I have NO CLUE where that came from or who she got that from, lol) and so it is hard to break through her barriers a lot of the time. She also potentially has ADHD which is something the doctor is trying to give time to see if she "outgrows" being that she is almost 4. I highly doubt she will outgrow the tendencies she has had since birth, but it's whatever. :)
    Memigen

    Comment by Memigen (original poster) at 10:06 AM on Jan. 19, 2011

  • There has been no big life change since she started this Guardian. And most of the time (as far as getting dressed) I can't just say don't do it then because we are on our way to school/work in the mornings. Other times I do that anyhow.
    Memigen

    Comment by Memigen (original poster) at 9:41 AM on Jan. 20, 2011

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