There are so many things in life that we don’t have control over, which is often a maddening reality. Reminders about what we have control over and what we don’t can help us not only understand the reality of a situation, but it can also alleviate some of the anxiety we experience. When something is out of our control it’s scary! We can feel comforted by remembering, and then acting on the things we do have control over and working on letting go of the things we don’t.
For example, I know (although I too need a friendly reminder sometimes) that I only have control over my actions, words, ideas, values, feelings, and thoughts. I do not have control over other people, places or things. So when I make a mistake, that mistake is mine to own. Equally, when I bring joy to others that’s was a choice I made too! We are the pilots of our own minds and actions, and we are not the pilots of anyone else’s mind or actions.
Children live in an world run by adults and sometimes feel powerless. Consequently they can fall into the trap of feeling that the actions of an adult are entirely their fault. For example, divorce, poverty, and addiction, are not a child’s fault and are not in their control. On the flip side, saying mean things to a classmate or participating in gossiping are within their control. You can see how this can be a confusing concept which is why it’s important to talk about with children!
Here is a handy diagram I created to help children understand what they do and do not have control over.
The joy of learning. Together.