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 Elementary Student: An Executive Function Connection

Students in elementary school often have good reason to feel anxious. Whether it’s taking tests in class, handling unexpected changes in a schedule, or remembering to take their materials home or to school, young students have a number of daily demands that require using their Executive Function skills. And because those very skills are still developing in their brains, elementary-aged kids won’t always be able to cope with their daily challenges without a little guidance from the adults in their lives. Here are a couple of scenarios that illustrate the connection between a student’s anxiety and gaps in their Executive Function development - and ways that parents can help bridge those gaps to build skills in their children.