Executive Function: Parent Homework

We’ve been talking about executive function heavily for the past couple weeks, so by now you should have a grasp on how it all works. But, what does this mean for us as parents?

Executive functions aren’t concrete, fast skills to learn, but they do need to be pointed out intentionally as you go along. We’re not asking you to put something entirely new on your plate, but instead become more intentional with the activities and experiences you do with your kids.

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Podcast Playlist: Executive Function

I’ve attempted to read at least three different titles about kids and executive brain function. They all have very snappy claims, from “Skills Every Kid Must Learn” to “How to Raise Successful Kids” to “Understanding the Kid Brain”. Yes, these are total clickbait headlines.

Of course, as a parent, you want to be able to teach your kids the secrets to adulting early. But it’s not like you can just hack their brain function. Executive function skills include: Focus and self-control, communication, planning, self-regulation, self-direction and motivation, collaboration, problem-solving, adjusting to social situations, etc. A lot of these we didn’t actively learn until we had to take a study skills class.

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In the Line of Fire: How to Handle All Those Why Questions

In our last post, we examined why toddlers and preschoolers ask A LOT of questions and shared ways to encourage their curiosity and cognitive development. But from my personal experience (like many other parents out there), patience and understanding during this phase can wear thin. Every now and then, we resort to “I don’t know, ask your father/mom” or “Because it just is,” simply in hopes to make the questions end.

Yeah, we know it’s not the best move and the last thing we want is for our kids to completely stop asking questions all together. So, how can we tolerate the barrage of questions without losing our cool?

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Toddlers and the Power of Why

From the weather to why we brush our teeth, it’s almost like they can’t help themselves. It’s been covered in TV episodes and in cartoons. You can picture it even now. An exasperated parent being followed by a super-inquisitive toddler, relentlessly asking “why”.

Research reveals that kids ask around 40,000 questions between 2-4 years of age. Similar studies also found that some 4-year-olds ask about 200-300 questions DAILY. As taxing as their inquiries can be for us as parents, it’s a good thing! Questions and curiosity are good indicators of social and cognitive development.

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