Executive Functioning Coaching breaks matters down into smaller steps… with skills that are intended to help your child ‘learn how to learn’ effectively…
What does a tidy room look like? How should the cutlery be set upon the table?
It’s not something we often think about in depth is it? However, following directions and completing steps, regardless of the task at hand is key to understanding what makes our brains tick.
‘Executive Functioning’ relates to our working memory, with the ability to adapt thoughts and ideas. In turn, these skills also help us plan and organize schedules, with effective time management and self-monitoring skills.
Upon early adolescence, your child should typically begin exhibiting executive functioning skills. Thus, it’s no secret, these behaviors are essential to a child’s growth and learning development, in order to set and achieve goals well into adulthood.
Why does adaptable thinking and expanding one’s working memory matter? For our children to be successful learners, how can we connect the dots so that all the necessary elements work together?
Adaptable Thinking Is Just The Beginning
Adaptable thinking starts with the ability to problem solve or adjust to situations and overcome instantaneous obstacles. Seeing a viewpoint from someone else’s perspective is central to this approach. With positive reinforcement and encouraging our kids to see things through, we’ll help them avoid being stumped by everyday hurdles or a difference of opinion.
Planning Well for Success
The ability to consider the future, formulate a plan of action, and prioritize the working parts required to achieve this direction is a sign of strong cognitive development. Effective planning skills enable a child to adequately determine which aspects are the most important to successfully accomplish a task. Encourage this skill by having them: provide directions, create a packing list or write out procedures for a recipe.
Working Memory, Working At Its Best
Working memory involves the capacity to retain and store learned information and later apply it. This aptitude is crucial to success in the classroom, as one’s working memory needs to recall important information to effectively complete a task.
Organization Eases Anxiety
Organization is vital to child growth and development as it allows them to present their thoughts in succinct dialogue for clarity as well as keep track of possessions, to avoid that “sinking feeling” of losing something. Efficient organization can be applied and encouraged through using any sort of systematic approach, such as color-coded folders, for example.
“For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned”
~ Benjamin Franklin
Time Management: Staying On Track
Time management is imperative for young people in countless scenarios as it relies on their ability to move from task to task, whilst sticking to a schedule, all towards an end goal. Throughout life, we all need to be productive, punctual on deadlines without losing patience, rushing or compromising on quality.
Self-Monitoring for Self-Reflection and Problem Solving
Self-monitoring involves self-reflection of performance. Self-monitoring helps one reflect on their progress regarding a specific assignment and consider adjustments that may be needed to complete the task at hand. For example, if a mathematical formula isn’t producing the correct answer, and we revise the process until we discover the error.
Self-Control: Keeping Calm
Self-control relates to the awareness of physical reactions or emotions in order to remain calm. In terms of executive function, this means resisting the urge to shut down due to criticism or obstacles. In other words, learning to absorb constructive feedback from a disappointing test score and learning from mistakes rather than giving up.
If you have noticed these skills are regularly scrambled for your child, all is not lost; there are always ways to unscramble things.
Create Consistency at School and Home
At Tutor Partners, we believe for children who find executive functioning challenging, consistency is key.
Strategies that work well in the classroom should also be implemented at home. For instance, if your child uses a visual checklist of set tasks at school, incorporate a similar approach at home, too.
It’s typical for Executive Functioning skills to take widespread practice before they are fully developed. Working every day on connectivity across the board will make the process easier.
At Tutor Partners we aim to help your child recognize that trying to apply these abilities is more about ‘making them work successfully for them’, rather than it being something we have to master.
Why Not Try Cooking or Baking
It might seem simple, but baking or cooking requires focus and concentration. There are always steps that must be completed in sequential order. You have to place ingredients into a bowl before you can mix them.
Akin to life, all of these attributes are a work-in-progress. Many executive functioning skills align closely with social-emotional development. The key to enhancing such skills is creating meaning. There’s no pressure, just have fun with it.
Just be, live freely.