Executive Functioning and Self-Regulation Skills
Executive functioning and self-regulation skills refer to our brain’s ability to plan, focus our attention, remember instructions and juggle multiple tasks at once. “Just as an air traffic control system at a busy airport safely manages the arrivals and departures of many aircraft on multiple runways, the brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses.” For some people these tasks come easily, but for others it can be difficult to manage multiple demands being placed on them at once.
So what can we do if our child is struggling to remain focused or has difficulty with remembering instructions or multi-tasking? The good thing is that our brain has plasticity meaning the more we practice something the stronger those connections in our brain develop. See the attached activity sheets for ages 5-7 and 7-12 to see different games and activities you can do at home to support your child’s developing executive functioning system. Card games, board games, physical activity, music and dance are all great ways for your child to exercise their brain!
For more information on executive functioning and how it works see https://developingchild.harvard.edu/science/key-concepts/executive-function/