Things I can Control–Growth Mindset

A Printable

How much time do we spend worrying, obsessing, raging against things we can’t control? When I wake up to -40C weather I wonder where I can send my complaints! As an adult, I find it hard to let go of the things I cannot control. When I look at my girls, I want them to grow up with a better handle on this aspect of our mental health.

As I may have mentioned before, my son is on the Autism Spectrum. Some of the best advice we ever got for him, was to create a visual to help him understand what he could control and what he could not. We drew a big circle on a posterboard and throughout the following weeks we put things he could control in the circle, and the things he could not outside the circle.

Seems pretty simple, right? This was a total lightbulb moment for me!! It’s why I created this printable (available for your own use, see link below!), so I could do this activity with my Sparks or Brownies (I think it would be a pretty good exercise for any branch level, heck…take it to your next Trefoil meeting!).

Learning about control is a way to help your girls overcome disappointments and frustrations and focus on solutions instead. It’s a good visual expression that shows how, in each situation, there are things they can control and things they cannot.

Let this printable be a discussion guide as you talk to your unit about what kind of things are in or out of their control, then let them fill out the sheet themselves and take it home as a powerful reminder!

Some examples of things kids can control:
  • Their own behaviour
  • Their goals
  • Their efforts
  • Learning from their mistakes
  • Taking care of themselves
  • Deciding who their friends are
  • Asking for help
  • Their thoughts
Some examples of things kids can’t control
  • What others think
  • What others say
  • Past mistakes
  • The weather
  • Being sick
  • What other people like or don’t like
  • How other people feel

Of course you and your unit may come up with other things! That’s the idea, make it relevant to the individuals!


  1. I created this document myself. The concept does not belong to BigLifeJournal, as it is a common therapy practise. Comparing the two, in my printable, children can print it out and do it as an activity. It is not a pre-made poster.


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