Parents want the best for their children. This means all sorts of investment in terms of education and self development. How wonderful would it be if several aspects of a child’s life could be positively affected at once? Well, that’s quite possible to achieve. Let’s start the conversation and talk about executive function skills.
What does executive function skills mean?
Executive function skills are a group of competences that, put together, help a child ease their way around in hard situations.
Children with strong executive function skills are often more equipped with organization, focus, social abilities, time and space management, great memory and a great imagination for problem-solving and decision-making. Adaptability and emotional control are key topics on this subject.
Not bad, huh?
Keep in mind that executive function skills are definitely something that can be developed. There are simple ways to achieve it, so you want to encourage it as early as possible.
While its practical effects might take a few years to grow to its fullest, engaging your child into building those capabilities also means that there is a growth seed silently taking roots into them.
What’s the point of executive function skills for children?
You might be thinking: what’s the point of expecting this from children? From a practical perspective, most of the time you can’t get kids to focus on something for a long time; they don’t have enough life repertoire to make decisions; and more, what kind of problems are children supposed to solve?
It’s natural to ask yourself these questions. Taking it into consideration, what would be the need to focus on executive functional skills on children?
The fact is that, just as so many other aspects of childhood development, we want to plant seeds when they’re young. Over time, you’ll see what these seeds grow to become and how much of a positive impact it can have on children.
Tangible benefits for children
This self-regulating process that children acquire through executive function skills can influence their life as a whole.
Simple tasks such as completing their house chores, dedicating themselves to studies, knowing what kinds of friends they mostly identify with and realizing when to walk away from a bad situation doesn’t sound like bad abilities, right?
Well, these are some expected capacities of children with enhanced self-regulating skills.
Understanding and accepting executive functions limitations
Before continuing this topic, remember: all children are unique. There isn’t such a thing as one-size-fits-all when it comes to their development and growth.
Take this into consideration, and please remember: there are cases in which neurological conditions (such as ADHD diagnosis, autism or traumatic brain injury) might cause children to have a hard time building executive function skills.
Children with these circumstances diagnosed require special attention as a whole. The specific protocol to develop their cognitive skills has to be considered, so make sure to follow medical and therapeutic instructions you receive!
Always look for the best alternative that will enhance your child’s development. Don’t try to fit them in a box!
How to stimulate executive function skills
As a parent, you have the power to stimulate an adequate environment that facilitates the growth of executive function skills. Households in which children face abuse, early stress or neglect could impair this process.
We can’t stress enough the many benefits of maintaining an active lifestyle.
Simply put, our bodies work better when they are being properly nurtured with physical activity.
Be here now
Encouraging children to focus on the present, interpreting and responding to the present situation, is something that will give them repertoire to deal with stress, anxiety, or situations they can’t control.
Knowing how to manage these feelings will certainly help them regulate their emotions.
Set the example (and the stage)
Adapt your family routine and dynamics in ways that will help your Little One.
In order to do that, have an active role in this self development process! Show yourself as an active participant. Experience the enjoyment of seeing up close the impacts of this growing journey.
How executive function skills show in adulthood
Take into consideration that adults can also improve their abilities to manage and live their best life, even if they don’t acquire executive function skills as children.
The whole purpose of investing in these traits from a young age is that this development process is certainly facilitated when it starts early on.
Easing your way as a grown up
Children who have a set of emotional and cognitive competences figured out are equipped with problem-solving skills, decision-making, emotional intelligence, self-regulation, resilience in handling hard situations and adaptive thinking.
These are abilities that have a strong influence when it comes to their future personal lives and career.
Emotional resources to deal with adversities
If we consider that executive function skills also include topics such as emotional intelligence, abilities such as empathy and strong communication, people with features such as these turn out to be great partners – both in work and personal life.
The ability to plan ahead, stay organized and manage different flows of information are also valuable aspects that can have a positive impact in an adult’s life.
Resilience and adaptability
Keep in mind that creating room for these executive functions can influence not only the child’s work future, their personal relationships, but also increase their quality of life as a whole.
Think about it: they’re more likely to grow knowing their way around difficult situations; managing their own lives and having the ability to create a backup plan if something needs fixing.
The process of growing executive function skills also takes place in other spots as well as your home. That’s why it’s paramount to make the best choice of a growth-promoting ambience. If you’re interested in finding a school in which executive function skills can be enhanced as part of the basic curriculum, take an up close look at AEA’s educational methods.
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