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Executive Functions

I hope you were able to attend our Futures Begin Here Premier! It was a roaring success and fun to be together without being near one another. Thank you to all of our supporters who were able to attend, and for those that couldn’t, the video is up on our website now and can be found here. We can’t thank our sponsors, our donors, our teachers, and staff enough for making this event possible and we had some good old-fashioned fun in the process. 

I’m wondering if you’ve heard of Executive Functions and if so, do you know what they are? We hear these things often without really understanding all of the details, so we thought we’d spend a little time talking about how these skills are linked to self-regulation. They are particularly important in early childhood as young children are still learning about self-regulation every day. 

During this remarkable 2020 year, parents and grandchildren are home with children more often, so we hope this helpful guide will give you some concrete ideas on how to work on these skills from infancy through the teen years. Yes, children keep developing into their teens, and as we all know the impulsiveness of a two-year-old can be difficult, while the impulsiveness or ability to make important life decisions as a teenager can be life-altering. Developing these skills earlier on is critical to raising competent adults. 

The website explains it like this:Executive function and self-regulation skills provide critical supports for learning and development. Just as an air traffic control system at a busy airport manages the arrivals and departures of many aircraft on multiple runways, executive function skills allow us to retain and work with information in our brains, focus our attention, filter distractions and switch mental gears.There are three basic dimensions of these skills: 
Working memory — The ability to hold information in mind and use it. 
Inhibitory control — The ability to master thoughts and impulses so as to resist temptations, distractions, and habits, and to pause and think before acting. 
Cognitive flexibility — The capacity to switch gears and adjust to changing demands, priorities, or perspectives. These skills help us remember the information we

One can see how these skills come in handy in a school setting, virtual or otherwise, in the workplace and in relationships. I hope you find some helpful hints in this downloadable PDF. The website can be found here if you’d like to focus on just one age group. Let us know what you find! Happy Fall everyone. 

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