Friday, April 14, 2017

Sphere of Control

by Lindsey Warner

I recently came across this article “Teach your Child this Crucial Life Lesson (Challenge #2: Sphere of Control)” that I found to be very interesting. This also reminded me of some of the conversations Kathy Bockhorst had during our parent book discussions with The Price of Privilege. One component of the book that we discussed with Memorial, Wheelock, and Dale parents is the idea of fostering a self of control within children, especially at a young age. This can idea can be confusing at times. While parents and teachers are also focused on encouraging things such as respect for authority and the ability to follow rules, knowing when to give children more choice can be a difficult task. Renee Jain echoes these same ideas of the importance of self-control in her article. She cites research from psychologist Martin Seligman that states, “When people believe they have no control over bad things that happen to them, they eventually stop trying to make their life and circumstances better - they give up.” The difficulty with this idea comes in knowing when to allow children to make their own decisions, and when something in a “non-negotiable”. Jain provides a great example of drawing two circles, one containing things you can control (such as attitude or how I dress) and the other containing things outside of your control (the weather or others’ attitudes). I think this is a great activity to do with children to explain the difference between the two spheres, and ensuring they feel a sense of control in their lives.


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