Importance of Executive Functions in Children

Some time ago, I overheard a teacher comment to the school’s Principal. She said a student did not possess executive functioning skills after evaluating the child’s poor academic performance in school.

What are executive functioning skills in kids?

Executive functions or executive functioning skills in kids refer to children's ability to make decisions (think), carry them out (act) and solve problems. These set of skills show their brains’ facility at directing and controlling their entire brain map, which also happens to be goal-oriented activities.
Executive Functioning Skills Graphic
According to Dr.Gerard A.Gioia, the attributes of executive functions consist of:
  • Planning/Organizing
  • Organization of materials
  • Working memory
  • Shift
  • Inhibition
  • Self-monitoring
  • Emotional Control
  • Initiation

Children need to be equipped with executive functioning skills appropriate for their age in order to lead meaningful and rewarding lives.