5 Executive Functioning Skills Every Child Should Possess

For both adults and children, executive functioning skills facilitate the behaviors required to plan tasks and activities. These are a set of mental skills and cognitive processes that help both children and adults to properly function throughout their lives. In one of our previous articles, we explored in full detail what executive functioning really is, and how exactly it affects children’s lives. We also laid out why executive functioning tutoring is so important when it comes to a student’s education.

This time around, Da Vinci Collaborative is looking at the 5 core executive functioning skills every child should possess. These range from adaptable thinking to self-control, time management, planning, and more. These skills are highly important in the formative years of children. Some kids might struggle with core executive functioning skills, and if left unattended, these can creep up in adulthood and cause some problems.

1. Organizational skills

Children and young adults need to be able to have at least an idea of what it means to be organized. We can’t expect children to always be sharp when it comes to organizing things, or even thoughts. However, this skill starts to develop in childhood, and it is a vital part of their growth and development. If your child can organize their school work, books, and keep a decent level of tidiness in their room, they’re pretty much on a good track.

2. Self-control

Let’s face it. Young children always seem to be all over the place. They are highly energetic and full of life, and they express emotions freely. These emotions aren’t always positive, and occasional anger outbursts, signs of irritability and acting out might occur. As they grow, and with proper guidance, they slowly develop self-control techniques. Now, this doesn’t mean they shut down their emotions completely, it only means they find healthier ways to express negative emotions. Having your impulses and emotions under control can benefit both children and adults.

3. Adaptable thinking

Adaptable thinking allows children to adjust to certain situations, as well as helps them overcome unpredictable obstacles and problems. Now, these problems don’t need to be difficult. A good example of adaptable thinking is having the ability to take an alternative route to a friend’s house, if a road is closed, and not freeze and panic because of uncertainty. Adaptable thinking essentially means that a child doesn’t get baffled by random everyday barriers and difficulties.

4. Time management

Adults sometimes struggle to properly organize their schedules, and it’s no different for kids. Children also face difficulty when it comes to time management and completing tasks on time. As they grow, their skills become better, however, some children might need additional guidance. Being able to properly organize your time can increase productivity, punctuality and even the quality of your work. Kids need to start learning to manage their time during their formative years.

5. Focus

Being able to stay engaged with a task and maintain focus for long periods of time isn’t as easy as one might think. This is an area where kids seem to struggle the most. In this age of technology, distractions are everywhere. Children are easily distracted by nature, and without proper guidance, they can easily fail to learn how to focus and concentrate on important tasks.

At home, parents are responsible for creating environments at home where kids can’t be easily distracted if they are doing homework, for example. Doing engaging and fun activities also helps children focus better. Difficulties surrounding concentration arise when illnesses are brought into the mix, such as ADHD, or even anxiety.

Want to learn more about executive functioning?

If you’re curious to learn more about executive functioning and how it impacts learning and social experiences, check out our brand new course. It provides an overview of executive functioning, what it is exactly, how it works, and more.

It’s useful for both teachers and parents to learn how they can identify students who struggle with executive functioning issues. Plus, you can also learn specific skills on how to support these students, as well as understand how executive functioning deficits may manifest in students with a specific diagnosis, like ADHD.

Looking for tutoring sessions for your child?

At Da Vinci Collaborative, tutors work with children every day to help them study and guide them through school and life. We’re a team of professionals who teach children with different mental health issues, in hopes of helping them become a better version of themselves. If you’re in need of specialized tutoring for your child, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us; our teachers can’t wait to meet new students and embark on new learning journeys.

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