1 Often, EFs can be more predictive of academic and career success than either socioeconomic status or IQ.2To improve any executive function, practice is critical. EFs need to be continually challenged — not just used — to see improvements.
(That goes for both children and adults.) However, EF training and practice alone will not achieve the best results. EFs blossom most when we lessen things that impair them (like stress or sadness) and enhance the things that support them (like joy or feelings of belonging).There are three core EFs.Inhibitory control of behavior is self-control or response inhibition – resisting temptations, thinking before speaking or acting, and curbing impulsivity.
Discipline and perseverance – staying on task despite setbacks or boredom and delaying gratification — require inhibitory control.Many children, especially those with ADHD or other conditions that impact executive functioning, may have insufficient inhibitory control and thus struggle to curb a behavior they know is wrong or unhelpful. Parents and others may incorrectly assume that this indicates “bad” behavior or a discipline problem when it simply indicates immature inhibitory control.Inhibitory control of behavior (self-control) improves with activities like the following.[Get This Free Download: A Guide to Building Foundational Executive Functions]Inhibitory control of attention is focused or selective attention.
It’s the ability to resist distractions so you can focus, concentrate, and pay attention, and to sustain that focus even when the material is boring (sustained attention).[Read: Executive Dysfunction, Explained!]Working memory is the ability to hold information in the mind and to work or play with it. Just holding
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