Children are still developing their executive functioning skills and find it challenging to prioritize, organize, manage their time, sustain work and attention, regulate their emotions and keep track of their responsibilities. These skills are crucial in order for children to develop independence and the overall ability to better manage themselves and yet we often overlook teaching them.
Here are some techniques to help your children to thrive by growing their executive functioning skills:
- Create a visual SCHEDULE
- Make a CHECKLIST
- Choose a FIXED LOCATION
- REVIEW the week
- Create a Visual Schedule
Children, especially young children, find it challenging to understand time sequence. While in school, teachers provide structure for children and bring them from one place to the next. At home, however, things can be very hectic so it can be helpful to provide a similar structure. Creating a visual schedule with your child can be a fun bonding activity and will help your child feel more in control and empowered.
- Make a Checklist
Encourage your children to use the checklists to help them organize themselves. This will help them identify their responsibilities and prioritize their time. It also teaches them to reflect on their own successes and accomplishments as they check off the items completed.
- Choose a Fixed Location
Together with your child, identify a fixed location for their schedule and checklist and make sure to reinforce the use of this fixed location until it becomes a habit for your child. This is an activity that takes place in the classroom but is often neglected at home.
- Review the Week
Establish a fixed time over the weekend to sit down with your child to review the upcoming week and your child’s schedule and responsibilities. This will help your child feel more prepared, in control, and reduce everyone’s anxiety about the upcoming week.
Consider providing your child with an Executive Functioning/POWERS Coach. The POWERS curriculum was developed by Dr. Kahane to help children of all ages to adapt and succeed in an increasingly challenging school environment. Children learn, with the support of individualized one-on-one coaching, to develop their emotional intelligence and their executive functioning skills through a new language related to each of the 6 core POWERS skills: Prioritize, Organize, Work, Exercise, Regulate, and Social Awareness. We offer virtual and in-person coaching and host POWERS Parenting workshops throughout the year.