Executive Functioning

Executive Functioning and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. Just as an air traffic control system at a busy airport safely manages the arrivals and departures of a many aircrafts on multiple runways, the brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set/achieve goals, and control impulses. 

Here are some tips to help your child with improving their executive functioning: 
  • Plan for your day/week/month in advance - have your child  utilize a planner.
  • Stay organized - this includes your child's backpack and school work and bedroom at home. 
  • Set aside a specific time and place to study.
  • Time management - using time wisely, understanding how long a specific project may take.
  • Planning projects - have your child plan a dinner from start to finish including a grocery list and meal preparation.
  • Perseverance - you can help your child search for ways to overcome burnout, roadblocks, and help remind them of their goals. 
  • Play board games - this is a fun way kids can practice skills such as planning and time management without even realizing that is helping their executive function! 
  • Goal Setting - help your child set a goal that they are invested in and together monitor their progress and reflect about what did and did not work. 
  • Riddles - they are great brain exercise. 
  • Manage anger and impulse - deep breathing, calming thoughts, problem solving.

A Guide to Executive Functioning (Harvard University)

~An informative overview of executive function, some of the science behind executive function, and some ideas on how to build up executive functioning skills.

Enhancing and Practicing Executive Functioning Skills with Children from Infancy to Adolescence

~A great resource for executive function activities broken down by age groups plus even more resources within the site.

Age Specific Activities Guide for Executive Functioning Skills
~Go here for links to videos and related resources about executive functioning skills (towards the bottom of the site).
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