Girl waiting for friends - checking her phone

Strong feelings come into play when you do not have control over an area of your life. It 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, they have to 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. One example is doing tests at school. They have to study for them but they cannot determine how well they do. They can only try their best but 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 with, if they will enjoy being away from home and if they will like the activities. They can only control who they say they want to share a room with, what they pack and have an open mind about what they will be doing.

Handling Not Being In Control

Some children like to be in control of everything but they just cant be. If this is the case parents & adults need to help them to get comfortable with these feelings of not being in control and having faith that everything will be okay. We need to help children to address those feelings of anxiety and looking for the good things that could come out the situation they are facing.

Parents need to help children see what they are in control of and what they can do to make the situation better for them. What could they do? Could they think differently about the situation? The parts they have no control 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.