Any time someone in my life told me “You can’t Do that!” I instantly began wondering why and thinking of how they were wrong. As a child, I took the word “can’t” as a personal challenge…and most times I’d take the naysayer to the mats. For better or worse, I have several children wired the same way.
This weekend, Kemper, Glory, and David went with friends to a national cross country meet in Tallahassee.
Crickie– whose name is Victory– went along for the ride. After Glory’s race, Crickie wanted to run into the finisher’s chute and be with her sister.
Her father said, “You can’t do that Crickie…it’s only for racers. Glory could get disqualified.”
Not even a minute later, David turns his head and sees this:
He called me laughing. Crickie was cute enough that the race officials let it slide and thankfully no one got disqualified. But I wanted to share this story with you because I know there are many of you with kids who are the same way.
You say CAN’T and they say WATCH ME. You say DON’T and they say WHY NOT. They question and wrestle and argue and fight. As a parent it seems like they are disrespectful or disobedient and certainly, sometimes they are. But most times, that struggle is more internal and it’s just being verbalized. But I WAS this kid. I GET this mind. And even though raising this type of kid is a bit more than a handful, let me tell you– in the end if they have bought what we are selling in terms of right/wrong, good/evil, truth/lies, and serving others…they become a force of nature.
Yes, Crickie disobeyed.
But the kind of mind that says “Why not? Why can’t I?” is the kind of mind that can learn to push boundaries for all the right reasons. That’s the kind of kid who will move mountains just because someone told her that it couldn’t be done. And if you happen to have a wee one like Crickie- or even a teenager who takes “You Can’t” as some sort of a personal challenge, let me encourage you that there IS a good side to this kind of personality and I’ll be praying that God gives us all wisdom to shape these kids into the world-changers He intends for them to be.
By the way — the girls both did phenomenal in their race and the weekend was an incredible experience! I’m praying with you that our children would all reach and work towards their God-given potential and God-sized dreams!