Note: This article is taken from I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Will, our 2012 Charlotte Mason personal calendar journal. See details below.
To this day I don’t remember where, when, or whom; but I do remember the three-letter word and its power to completely change my attitude. Someone suggested that I tack this little word onto the end of any negative statement, such as “I can’t” or “My child is not able to” or “I haven’t gotten around to it.” I took this person’s advice, and it has made a world of difference in how I view my progress.
Do you know which powerful three-letter word I’m referring to? It is yet. “My child can’t read yet.” “I haven’t taught her how to cook yet.” “I am not consistent in following through yet.”
(That same person also recommended that I teach my children to add yet on the end of any “I can’t” statement, and that little word has relieved many a charged conversation.)
You see, the yet adds hope to our minds. We may not have reached our goal, but there is still opportunity to attain, there is still time to succeed.
Good Habits and Good Ideas
As we discussed earlier, the main tools we parents have in our hands to help our children become the best they can be—to live out I am, I can, I ought, I will to the fullest—are good habits and good ideas.
We feed their minds with loving, noble, good ideas to inspire them, to train their consciences, and to direct their reasoning. And we work with them to instill good habits in order to fortify their wills and make those good decisions easier.
But sometimes it seems like our efforts are in vain. Some days we can’t see any fruit from our labor, and we feel like we have failed. Those are the moments when we need to use that three-letter word stubbornly!
“My child doesn’t seem to know where the laundry hamper is . . . yet.”
“My child won’t pay attention . . . yet.”
“My child can’t control her temper . . . yet.”
“My child hasn’t learned the difference between I want and I will . . . yet.”
“My child doesn’t appreciate humility . . . yet.”
There is still hope for change, and it will come as most growth does: through consistent effort in the small things.
Hear Charlotte’s words of encouragement to you. Write them on your heart (and maybe on your bathroom mirror too).
“Let us not despise the day of small things nor grow weary in well-doing” (Vol. 3, p. 23).
You are doing a great work. Don’t lose heart. Don’t think that the small, everyday things are insignificant; they aren’t. Those small things add up to a powerful force welling up inside your child.
Will change come as quickly as you want it to? Probably not. But that doesn’t mean it’s not coming. Remember that powerful three-letter word as you watch your child grow in understanding all that is entailed in I am, I can, I ought, I will.
Don’t be discouraged! There is hope!
Honey, you ain’t seen nothing . . . yet!
2012 Charlotte Mason Personal Calendar Journal
Our 2012 personal calendar journal is chock full of encouraging articles like the one you just read. If you are looking for a calendar that will speak to your heart and give you helpful reminders and ideas as you raise your children, I Am, I Can, I Ought, I Will is for you.
With spacious calendars, places for prayer requests and gentle reminders, plenty of inspiring quotes, and lots of room to write, this calendar journal will become a beautiful keepsake record of your year.
Download the free sample and order your calendar in time for the new year!