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Bummer Words

Did you know there are words we use everyday that can hold us back from reaching our full potential?

At Accent on Success, an organization dedicated to helping children succeed, we call no, can’t, won’t, never, if and maybe the Bummer Words. These are negative words because they often stop us before we even get started doing a new task or try something a second time.

Certainly, there are many times where it is appropriate to use these words. As adults we know there are times when it is necessary to use these words to keep our children safe and to teach them right from wrong.

They become Bummer Words when we use them as an excuse for not doing something that will challenge us or stretch our capabilities. For example: “I’ll never get a good grade on that test,” or “ I’ll try it, but I won’t be any good,” or “If only I had a little more time.”

Help your child minimize the number of times in a day that he or she uses the Bummer Wordsno, can’t, won’t, never, if and maybe.

Suggestions for implementation:

  1. Make this a fun family or class experience. Count the number of times in a day you use the Bummer Words: no, can’t, won’t, never, if and maybe. Make a note of when you are using them and why.
  2. Resolve to use one less Bummer Word each day.
  3. Replace them with the positive “I’ll Make It Happen” words: yes, I can and I will.

      Examples: “I will do that for you,” or “I can turn my homework in on time,” or

      “Yes, I will study harder for the science test.”

Quote for discussion:

  • Discuss within your family what you learned about the use of Bummer Words during normal daily conversations.

Please visit www.goalsettingforstudents.com for more life skills ideas to help children succeed.



Please forward this life skills idea to your friends.

Accent On Success® is a nonprofit organization dedicated to giving parents and teachers the tools they need to help children succeed in school and in life. Their first book, Goal Setting for Students®, has won three national book awards.   

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