Executive functioning is like having a superhero power for kids and teens! It helps them become independent, thoughtful, and self-sufficient adults. Imagine your child having superpowers like amazing social skills, independent thinking, kindness and a strong work ethic. These abilities are like secret weapons for success in STEM education, robotics and coding. It’s like your child is a superhero in training!
Think about all the things you have to do in a day, it’s like you’re leading an orchestra of tasks! You have to coordinate your schedule and your family’s schedules, manage appointments, run errands, take care of the kids, work, and remember to do little things like returning phone calls, sending emails, and responding to texts. But just like a conductor has to be flexible and adaptable, executive functioning helps you think that way too. Even if you have a plan, things don’t always go as expected. So, being able to adjust to unexpected changes, alter plans and come up with new ones while keeping in mind all the people involved – that’s executive functioning!
As a parent, we want to raise kids who are ready for the big stage of college and adult life. And with strong executive functioning skills, they’ll be able to conduct their own lives with ease!
High school students are like ultimate champions, who are constantly pushing the limits of their abilities to manage multiple responsibilities with ease and efficiency. They are the masters of time management, setting aside specific periods to read, write and finish their tasks, while also preparing for the numerous classes they’re enrolled in. They are independent problem solvers, taking charge of their own learning and seeking assistance only when needed. They are also financial wizards, handling their own finances for the first time and keeping track of their expenses like seasoned pros. And let’s not forget the social scene, where they are thrown into the deep end, having to navigate the challenges of sharing a room, making new friends, and balancing the freedom of social life with their other duties. It’s like an epic quest every day and they are the heroes of their own story, who are rising to the challenge and coming out victorious!
When parents give their kids the opportunity to solve problems on their own and take on more responsibilities, it’s like they’re giving them a super power boost! They’re helping them to develop their executive functioning skills and become problem-solving wizards.
It’s like giving them a secret mission, where they have to use all their skills at once, like a superhero using all their powers to save the day. No one will be their sidekick, checking to see if they completed their homework or reminding them to leave early for class the next morning.
And just like any good superhero story, there will be challenges and stress, but that’s all part of the adventure. They’ll have to figure out how to recover from a breakdown on their own, just like how a superhero figures out how to defeat the villain without any help. It’s all part of the fun and excitement of growing up and becoming a true hero of their own life!
Developing executive functioning skills is like unlocking a secret treasure chest of abilities! According to experts, the best time to discover these skills is during middle school and early adulthood, when the brain’s frontal lobe is in full gear. This powerful part of the brain is like the control center of executive function, connecting with all the other parts of the brain like a symphony conductor.
It’s like going on a treasure hunt, where your brain is the map and the frontal lobe is the treasure chest. As you journey through childhood and into adolescence, different parts of your brain develop, making it easier for you to manage your schoolwork, take care of your things and handle other responsibilities, like chores or a part-time job with more independence. It’s an exciting adventure that leads to greater and greater skills and abilities as you get older!
Discovering the secrets of executive functioning during puberty is like going on a treasure hunt! As teenagers, the brain is undergoing a remodeling process in social cognition and executive functioning, making it the perfect time to learn these skills and use them in social interactions. It’s like finding the key to unlock a treasure chest filled with abilities that will help them navigate the world around them.
The best way to master these skills is through first-hand experience, like going on a real-life adventure. As a parent, it’s important to resist the temptation to always save your kids from handling problems on their own or giving them things without making them work for it. By letting them experience and solve problems on their own, you’re giving them valuable opportunities to learn and grow. Just like in any treasure hunt, the journey and the challenges along the way are what make it exciting and rewarding!
When it comes to preparing your teenager for adulthood, it’s like building a robot! You want to make sure you’re not skipping over any important parts and skills that need to be mastered during adolescence. It may be tempting to focus solely on academic advancement and extra tutoring to push your kids ahead, but that’s like trying to make a robot run before it can walk.
Teenagers need the opportunity to practice and experience organizing, making decisions, and planning autonomously during this period. Without these experiences, they may be like a robot that’s not fully built yet, ill-prepared for the challenges of adulthood. So, let them take the lead, give them the chance to make their own decisions and experience the consequences, just like how a robot learns from its experiences. It’s all part of the fun and exciting process of becoming a fully functioning adult!
The best practice.
Helping kids develop their executive functioning skills is like giving them ‘the secret agent’ training! And the best part is, we don’t have to wait until middle school to start. When kids come to us with a problem, we can turn it into a training exercise by asking them “What do you think the solution is?” For example, if your toddler comes to you with a broken toy, your answer can be, “Looks like we have a mission to fix this toy, what’s your plan agent?” When your ten-year-old speaks about a fight with another kid at school, your response could be, “It sounds like we have a covert operation to improve this interaction, what’s your strategy, agent?”
These answers will help children get comfortable with the idea that they are the ones who need to come up with solutions when there are problems, not someone else. And don’t worry if their answers aren’t perfect, they will probably require some support from an adult. But by giving them the chance to think for themselves, they’ll gain the confidence they need to take on more challenging executive functioning skills later on, like in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). It’s all part of the fun and exciting journey of becoming a secret agent!