Exploring the 3 Areas of Executive Function

Your child is going to develop quickly. One of the main areas of development has to do with executive function. Executive function refers to an important group of skills that makes it easier for your child to keep track of what he or she is doing, manage his or her emotion, pay attention to what is going on, and stay focused as he or she completes multiple tasks.

There are three broad areas of executive function. These include:

  1. Working Memory: This is the ability of children to keep information in their minds. That way, they can use it productively. For example, working memory is important when children are asked to answer questions that test reading comprehension.

  2. Cognitive Flexibility: This is the ability to think about a specific topic in more than one way. For example, there is usually more than one way to solve a math problem. Children may solve a math problem multiple ways with cognitive flexibility.

  3. Inhibitory Control: Also called self-control, this is the ability of children to resist temptation and stay focused. For example, children use this to prevent him or her from shouting out an answer in school. This is critical for children to resist acting on impulse.

All of these skills are important for children who are going to school. These areas of executive function are critical for helping children maximize their learning experiences. Learn more about the importance of executive function, and these three areas, with this article on Understood.org!

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