Executive Function Strategies Blog

How to Get Your Child to Listen to You (with less talking back)

Editor’s note: This week, we feature guest blogger Lisa Gurdin of LSGurdin Consulting. Please read more about Lisa below.

One of the hardest parts of being a parent is realizing that your child will not always listen to what you say just because you say it. This is a tough nugget to swallow. Shouldn’t children just listen to their parents? Isn’t it just enough to say, “Because I said so.”? I first realized this with my tantruming 2-year old every time we left the playground, toy store, or a playdate. I re-learned this when my middle schooler responded to my directives by walking away from me. I have heard parents complain that in response to their instructions, their child talks back, says no, or says nothing at all. Regardless of the specific response, the behavior leaves us parents feeling frustrated and angry.



The Anxious, Stressed High School Student: An Executive Function Link

Adults don’t always think of high school as the “real world,” but for students navigating that stage of life, the stress is entirely real. The academic obligations start to get more challenging and the social expectations feel more intense — just when students are beginning to add college and career decisions into the mix that will affect the rest of their lives.

While that is a lot to handle, some of that stress can be mitigated with changes to the way that they manage their demands. The two students described below illustrate the connection between stress (and the anxious feelings that come with it) and executive functioning - and how learning more effective executive functioning techniques can bring down the anxiousness and increase their success.



How Martial Arts Training Helps Develop Executive Function Skills

Editor’s note: This week, we feature guest bloggers Michael Keesler and Jason Navon of Fox and Ferns Mental Health in Philadelphia, PA. Please read more about Michael and Jason below.

In fall of 2000, a 16-year-old Michael Keesler took his first class at the Asheville Taekwondo Academy. It would be the first of many classes to follow, each beginning with bowing in and reciting the tenets of the school: Honor, Courtesy, Integrity, Perseverance, Self-Control, Courage, and Community. Fast-forward nearly 20 years and Michael – now Dr. Keesler – trains less, but has a new and altogether different appreciation for martial arts training.



Scattered & Late? The (very real) Cost of Ineffective Habits in Adults

Almost everyone has a picture in their head of how their lives should run. It typically goes something like this: Your living space is orderly and tidy, with carefully chosen containers and efficient ways to house your belongings. Last minute guests? No biggie. Your place always looks ready to entertain friends and family. Your finances are in good order and you live within your means, making wise choices about how you spend your hard-earned money. You monitor your bills and make sure every charge is legitimate and every payment is on time. You are on top of your schedule and never need to rush out the door.  And - hey look! - there are your keys/wallet/purse/phone in a dedicated space where they are always waiting for you to you grab on your way out.

OK, so this is just a fantasy, right?