What Are Executive Function Skills?

Sep 27, 2016 by Yolanda Fontanez-Coleman | Homework, Organization, Study Skills

Is your child forgetting things? Does your child have difficulty planning out big projects? Does your child have difficulty with time management? Perhaps they are having some weaknesses with executive functioning skills.

middle school boy student 2015

What are executive functioning skills and how does it impact my child?

Executive functioning skills allow us to organize, plan, maintain attention to the task and persist in completing the task. Executive functioning skills allow us to control our emotions and regulate our behavior. Having poor or weak executive functioning skills can have a significant impact on your child. Weak executive functioning skills can lead to overall low motivation, a decrease in self confidence and overall poor grades. 


Can you clarify the executive skills and what they specifically do for us? 

There are 5 executive skills that focuses on thinking skills & help us achieve goals. There are 6 executive skills that help us manage our behavior and impulses in order to persistently work towards achieving our goals.

5 Executive Functioning Skills focus on Thinking Skills & Helps Achieve Goals:

Planning: This relates to the ability to create a vision map to reach our goal or to complete a task.

Organization: Allows you to create and maintain systems for keeping all information.

Time Management: Allows you to estimate & manage your time well. It creates a sense of importance of time and allows you to meet your deadlines.

Working Memory: Enables you to hold and remember information while performing complex tasks. It allows you to tap into your background knowledge in order to apply it to your current or future tasks.

Metacognition: This relates to the ability to assess how you are doing in the current situation, this includes self-monitoring and self evaluation. It is directly associated with how you problem solve.

6 Executive Functioning Skills that helps Manage Behavior and Impulses:

Response Inhibition: This skill relates to “thinking before acting.”

Emotional Control: The ability to manage emotional control in order to achieve goals, stay on task and control your behavior.

Sustained Attention: This skill allows you to maintain attention no matter the distractions, boredom or fatigue.

Task Initiation: This skill gives you the ability to begin a task without procrastination.

Flexibility: This allows you to overcome obstacles, setbacks, new information or anything that comes in your way. This allows you to be flexible in your planning toward reaching your goals. 

Goal Directed Persistence: The ability to follow through with your goal even when obstacles or distractions arise.

Do you think your child struggles with executive functioning skills? Our study skills program focuses on helping students with weak executive functioning skills.




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5 years ago

These are the skills that need to be trained for children from childhood. Thanks to the author who shared it.

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