Executive Function Strategies Blog

Toxic Positivity: Self Esteem Costs of Poor Executive Function Skills

When I was in grad school, I worked at a gym. One of the things I recall vividly about my time there were the encouraging vibes from personal trainers, group fitness instructors, and the members themselves. People clung to mantras such as “The pain you feel today will be the strength you feel tomorrow” and “The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do”, and “Be stronger than your excuse.” Phrases such as these were meant to inspire persistence with your workouts. And many times, they did.

As well-intended as these messages were, though, they were sometimes problematic. Sometimes the pain I felt was a sign I should stop the workout -- not push through. Sometimes the excuses were legitimate and necessary reasons for skipping a spin class here and there. It wasn’t until nearly a decade later did I become acquainted with the concept of toxic positivity which allowed me to name what I was feeling in response to these inspirational no-quit quotes.



The Best 15-Minute Strategy for Overwhelmed Parents

Ah, the pandemic... Overnight, many of us parents became a nurse, a short-order cook, a guidance counselor, a teacher, and - most of all - a multitasking pro. From worried, sleepless nights to tired workdays, life as a parent in 2020 has been a challenge with seemingly no end in sight. How can we as parents possibly help our children when we are feeling totally overwhelmed?



2 Executive Function Skills to Help Parents Beat Back to School Stress

There are many things people never tell you about parenting. For instance, how many fingernails you’ll clip, or that you may have to tell your son to stop chasing his sister with moldy bread (okay that second one may be a “me” thing)... 

However, the one quirk that we all were definitely not told about is that we’d have to parent through a pandemic. As many of us have discovered, there’s no handbook to refer to, everyone has different opinions, and the plan, whatever that may be, will inevitably change - frequently.



What Will College Look Like This Fall?

Every new college semester is a transition: New classes, new teachers, sometimes even new friends. This coming fall, however, will compound all of those changes with another one: A new way of learning. Yes, students do have a few months practice with the skill of learning-during-a-pandemic, but the spring semester was cushioned by lenient (and sometimes required) pass/fail options. With a much clearer picture of what to expect this fall, those safety nets will not be quite so forgiving.

So, how should students prepare for the upcoming semester? Different schools are taking very different approaches to the Fall 2020 term, each with its own benefits and potential Executive Functioning challenges. I’ll cover the major options below and let you know what to expect and how best to prepare for that style of learning.