Executive Functioning

Bullet Journal

What Is Executive Functioning?

Executive function concerns the deliberate effort through which the brain actively modulates the processing of information. This modulation occurs through cognitive and mental skills that allow people to control thoughts, emotions, and actions. Executive function skills center on the ability to evaluate a situation and make a decision, organize and achieve goals, and to flexibly and successfully adapt behavior when presented with novel problems and situations. In daily life, these skills include working memory, self-control, task initiation, time management, and emotional regulation.

Emotional Regulation & Executive Functioning

Research has shown that emotional regulation plays a key role in school success and competence. Experts posit that executive function can be enhanced through cognitive training and potentially enhance the efficiency of brain systems undergirding behavioral and emotional regulation in children and adolescents. Recent research has also shown that the development of executive function skills is affected by environmental factors, including parenting and education. Warmth, responsiveness, and gentle discipline by parents in childhood and adolescence are key determinants of advanced executive function and socioemotional competence. This competence can also be supported through a focus on emotional regulation skills in the classroom.

I teach students self-initiated strategies to improve task initiation, time management, and emotional regulation:

  • How to consciously control cognitive processes through executive function

  • How to mediate the relationship between stimulus (trigger) and response

  • Provide various executive function strategies to regulate emotion

  • Teach compensatory techniques to overcome executive function challenges

  • Increase self esteem through emotional regulation

  • Learn to self-advocate in lieu of emotional breakdowns

  • Acquire organizational skills and practice new behaviors