Executive Function Strategies Blog

Adulting in 2020: 5 Key Tips for Resilience from a Recent College Grad

We’ve finally reached the halfway point of 2020, and I think I speak for just about everyone in saying that these past 6 months have felt more like 6 years. A global pandemic, widespread economic uncertainty, mass unemployment, and now, historic protests against police brutality and racial injustice in every major US city - all of which have already cemented 2020 as an infamous year in the history books. Although many of us have been privileged enough to stay healthy, employed, or out of harm’s way, that doesn’t negate the fact that we’re also human - which means that this constant uncertainty and chaos is bound to take a toll on our mental wellbeing. 

Everyone has their own stories of how the pandemic has upended their lives. I’d like to share a bit about my own experience, as well as five insights that I’ve picked up along the way that have helped me stay resilient and adaptable in uncertain times. 



Managing Loneliness While Working From Home

By now, some folks might be going back to work on site -- whether in full force or in a hybrid model. Many of us, though, are cruising past the two-month mark of working from home. If that’s you, you’ve probably gotten into somewhat of a groove. You’ve got the right mindset for working remotely and you’ve got your distractions managed so you  can stay productive. But just when you think you’ve hit your stride, an unexpected feeling emerges: loneliness.



The Anxious Middle Schooler: An Executive Function Connection

Middle school. For some of us, those three syllables can elicit chills of recalling social slights, embarrassing faux pas, and other growing pains of adolescence. Decades later, things haven’t changed much. In fact, it’s still about lunchtime and who you manage to sit near. As if that whole scene isn’t stressful enough, add in Executive Function challenges for a 6th, 7th, or 8th grader and you can see why kids this age can be a ball of anxiety. Heck, elementary school was a piece of cake compared to this new setting. Now they’ve got all these different teachers who talk so fast and seem to expect you to just know how to do stuff like take notes and reach out for extra help. Let’s follow a student who is having a tough time in middle school and see how some Executive Function tools might help calm the stormy seas a bit.



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.