The word 'Control' spelled out in colourful letters on wood background

Strong feelings come into play when you do not have control over an area of your life. Having little power can make you feel worried, fearful and scared. You may feel anxious not knowing what is going to happen next and if the outcome is going to be a good one. With adults, making a lot of big decisions, we get used to dealing with these feelings of uncertainty and hope that things will turn out for the best in the long run.

Children don’t have to deal so much with this ‘being in control’ until they start to take responsibility for what is happening in their life. For example, doing tests at school. They have to study for them, but they cannot determine how well they will do. They can only try their best as they will not know the questions beforehand. Another example is a situation like going on a school stay-away camp. They cannot be sure of who they will share a room with, if they will enjoy being away from home and if they will like the activities they have to partake in. They can only decide who they say they want to share a room with, what they will pack and have an open mind about what they will be doing.

Handling Not Being In Control

If you have a child who doesn’t like being out of control, help them to get comfortable with these feelings and have faith that everything will be okay. Help them to address those feelings of anxiety and help them to look for the good things that could come out of the situation they are facing. You can help your child see what they are in control of and what they can do to make the situation better for them. Could they think differently about the situation? How could they change their mindset so it is a more positive one? The parts they have no power over – well they cannot change them, so they need to sit with them and stop worrying. They are out of their control, and they need to learn to let it go.

These are just a few ways children can learn about dealing with loss of control. We cannot control everything so this is a valuable life skill to learn. To be in control you have to have a level of autonomy. A great article to read is Yes to Autonomy on encouraging children to develop these skills.

If your child needs a little bit of help just sitting with how life is and not being in control with everything please feel free to get in touch.