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to think 'you can do anything if you try' is not a helpful message?

(84 Posts)
ChasedByBees Mon 13-May-13 18:01:37

I've just watched something on ceebeebies where the moral of the story was 'you can do anything if you try'.

Well no, I can't fly without mechanical aids, I can't invent a new col

dancingwithmyselfandthecat Tue 14-May-13 12:34:28

Someone once said to me that "effort can be a reward in itself". I think that's a really useful message (NOT for women in abusive relationships, obviously). I am one of the most hopelessly unathletic people you could ever dream of meeting. No matter how hard I would try I could never win a set of tennis or shoot a ball into a goal. However, through diligent effort I could enjoy the effect of becoming a little bit less awful each time, of knowing that I had got a bit sweaty, worked off some calories and stretched my muscles (which is, after all, the basic purpose of school sports). Equally, I could be top of the class in pretty much anything academic with no work but if I put in the effort, achieving that little bit more, understanding it a bit more deeply, not having the stress of flying by the seat of my pants I could find it a lot more satisfying.

Most things in life we won't 100% succeed at. Provided they were useful, realistic things to do in the first place we won't have failed by wasting our time if we can take something away from it and if we have provided something useful to someone else.

Loa Tue 14-May-13 12:36:37

I suspect its a messaged aimed at the DC round here who by 3 are already well used to being told what they can't aspire to angry.

It does have some truth - as long as you allow for lateral thinking.

Instead of saying I can't grow wings so lets give up the whole flying thing - people thought well I can't grow wings how else can I experience flying - which give us stories, myths people created to all the technology that allows people now to experience flying in many differing ways.

The hard thing is knowing or accepting the point where it would be more productive to go and do something else.

FasterStronger Tue 14-May-13 13:02:19

juggling - i agree with some of what you say - i was seeing JE as sportswoman not celebrity. inspiring sport in general rather than heptathlon specifically.

there is good competition and bad completion. Good competition = doing your best, seeking self improvement, learning. bad competition = hating others beating you etc.

i think we have too much bad competition and too little good. and just because you try, it does not mean you will always succeed but you will get used to overcoming failure.

AmberLeaf Tue 14-May-13 13:19:44


Marking place.

Habbibu Tue 14-May-13 13:29:20

I think it's probably easier to make sense of for children of you can show them something concrete; dd was struggling with something a while back (can't remember what), and I was able to remind her that she firstly hadn't been able to ride a bike, then not a bike with gears, the not one-handed, all of which she can do now, so she has demonstrable achievements through trying hard. So "look at what you achieve when you try, even though some days you thought you'd never manage" is better, if not so pithy, for us.

garlicyoni Tue 14-May-13 16:49:36

Yeah, but when you teach your child to ride her bike, you spend nearly all of the time going "Whoo-hoo, you're doing it! Clever girl!" If you started off by telling her to "try" and do hands-free wheelies, you'd be facing a long and miserable experience.

garlicyoni Tue 14-May-13 16:51:17

... sorry, missed off the bit that should have said you teach children to ride their bikes by promoting the joy inherent in making the effort - not starting from the premise they can do 'anything' if they 'try'.

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 14-May-13 18:21:48

'what a man can do is ok, what a woman can do is awesome'
'what a man can do another women can do better'

Hope that neither of you have sons

Habbibu Tue 14-May-13 21:45:22

No, I meant I use the bike example to show her what she has achieved through trying, and help her to motivate herself through something tricky.

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