As parents, there are small steps we take every day that have a big impact on our children’s futures. One area in which we see children grow significantly during the first five years is with executive function skills like self-control. From learning to share and take turns, to talking about feelings instead of throwing a tantrum, children have a great capacity to learn how to control their emotions.
You can intentionally help your child develop self-control with these fun, family-friendly activities:
- Dance and freeze: Play music and dance together. Then ask your child to freeze every time you pause the music. (For older children, ask them to freeze in a specific position.)
- Play board games: Review the game’s instructions or ask your child to explain them to you. Then take turns as you play.
- Create an obstacle course: Build a course with a specific route and have your child complete it.
- Cook together: Ask your child to help you follow the steps of a recipe in order and set a timer while the dish is cooking or chilling. Here are some quick, kid-friendly recipes to try!
These activities will test and strengthen your child’s ability to focus on tasks, manage behavior and practice patience by learning to follow rules or directions. Did you know that these activities may also help your child get a job one day?
According to a recent survey, executive function skills, such as self-control, are more highly valued in entry-level candidates than technical abilities, academic background and other factors. These executive function skills – which also include teamwork, critical thinking and problem solving – can be intentionally nurtured and developed while our children are still learning to count, read and potty-train!
Get more simple tips and resources on nurturing executive function skills at home.
Find a Primrose School Near You
Inspire a lifelong love of learning. Contact your local Primrose to schedule a tour.Find A School