What are Executive Functions?


Executive function is like the CEO of the brain. It’s in charge of making sure things get done. When kids have issues with executive functioning, any task that requires planning, organization, memory, time management and flexible thinking becomes a challenge. The more you know about the challenges, the better you’ll be able to help your child build her executive skills and manage the difficulties.

Our Words Have Power

Our words have power. Use them to BUILD UP and CONNECT. 

This is some serious food for thought, but NOT meant to make you, as a parent, feel like you are failing or guilty of not doing better. No one is perfect. No parent is perfect. You strive to do your best and make changes and adjustments along the way. If this quote helps you strive to do better, keep it close to your heart.  

Building Strong Connection To Your Children

We as humans are very good at meeting our physical needs to ensure that we are fed, clothed, watered and have sheltered. However, we also have emotional and spiritual needs which we tend not to be so great at fulfilling. 
When kids are acting up it’s usually because a need is not being met. Whether that be that they’re hungry, tired or cold etc. remember it could also be that an emotional need is not being met. 
So next time they’re pushing your buttons remember not only their physical needs but also the emotional ones that are crying out for connection. 

While it goes without saying that we all love our children, today’s busy family lifestyle can make it tricky to ensure everyone gets their required dose of Love and Connection. As we bustle through the day, getting everyone ready, out the door to their daily activities then back again for dinner, bed and bath, it can be hard to make time for quality connections. Unfortunately, unmet needs for connection can result in uncooperative behavior. 

Connections don’t need to be timed; they just need to be meaningful to your child. Every child has a different level of need for love and connection, different things will go towards filling it. 

Some suggestions to their daily activities: 

  • One-on-One time – this could be date days, special activities for just the two of you or even just a quite chat at bedtime. 
  • Read them a story 
  • Play a game 
  • Be playful – join in their silliness rather than reprimand it 
  • Develop a ritual – this could be a special way of saying goodbye, a bedtime routine, or a secret handshake. 
  • Give them praise 
  • Tell them what you love about them 
  • Have cuddle time 
  • Eat meals together 
  • Have a shared interest or hobby 

How To Play With Your Young Children

Many parents intuitively know why play is important to children, but despite its many benefits, we rarely associate play with learning. For most people, learning involves acquiring a specific new skill, such as memorizing alphabets, counting, writing, etc. They often believe that playing is only for fun and involves no actual learning. However, according to studies, playing is learning. Children learn through playing. 

The importance of play in early childhood cannot be underestimated because playing is essential to a child’s growth. 

Here are some pointers for parents who are not sure how to play with their very young children.

1.Relax and enjoy the activity. Do not try to take charge, but allow your child to take the lead. Your role is to show interest and approval and provide encouragement. If your child begins to behave in a manner that is unacceptable, it is important to let him know what he is doing wrong and to teach him what he can do differently next time.

2. Make sure that the toys or materials are age appropriate. This is often taken care of by the child’s interest.

 3. Learn to ask open-ended questions while you play, such as: 

 What do you think will happen if _____________________? 

 Can you think of another way to ______________________? 

 What else can you build with those blocks? 

 Where else could that puzzle piece go? 

4. Encourage further exploration

 If your child seems to be getting frustrated, you can make suggestions for another way to look at the problem. For example, to the child who is upset because his tower keeps falling over, you can show him how to use bigger blocks at the bottom. 

5. Model good sportsmanship

 When children get old enough to begin playing competitive games such as races or board games, you can model good sportsmanship. 

 Be a good loser by expressing how much fun you had participating in the activity and by congratulating the winner. Equally as important is to be a good winner by not gloating or being too competitive with young children. 

6. If you and your child are not enjoying the activity, stop it. Play should be something that is enjoyable for everyone involved.

Importance of Training Your Child

This is not as obvious as it may sound. Adults often expect children to accomplish tasks for which there has not been adequate training. Parents may expect children to clean their rooms, but never teach them how. Children go into their messy rooms and feel overwhelmed.

Taking time for training means being very specific about your terms and expectations. Taking time for training does not mean children will ever do things as well as you would like. Improvement is a lifelong process. 

Don’t expect children to know what to do without step by step training. What do you mean by clean? 

  1. Kindly explain the task as you perform it, while your child watches. 
  2. Do the task together. 
  3. Have your child do it by herself while you supervise. 
  4. When she feels ready let her perform the task on her own. 

Nurturing Your Child

When they are at that line, deciding whether to retreat to safety or move forward into bravery, there will be a part of them that will know they have what it takes to be brave. It might be pale, or quiet, or a little tumbled by the noise from anxiety, but it will be there. And it will be magical. As parent your job as their flight crew is to clear the way for this magical part of them to rise.  
To do this, you first need to let them know you are with them, that you will see their world the way they see it. Let this be with so much love and warmth – the relational connection is everything.  

 Whenever you can, speak to that bravery part of them and usher it to into the light. You’ll be doing this every time you acknowledge their strengths, the brave things they do, their effort when they do hard things; and their tiny shuffles or big leaps towards brave. 

This isn’t always easy. Their anxiety will trigger yours – when your children feel unsafe, often so will you. So you have to hang on hard to the truth of it all – that you know they can do this. If you feel yourself believing in their anxiety more than their bravery, remind yourself that they will believe in themselves when you do. Then, breathe, find calm, remember the truth of it all, and let your courage lead theirs. 

What Does It Mean To Be a Parent

Being a parent is a major responsibility. You are in charge of raising an individual to the point of adulthood with the goal of turning him or her into a valuable member of the community. This undertaking requires care, love, understanding and the ability to keep the children on the right path. If done right, it is one of the hardest things you will do, but it also will be one of the most rewarding. 

By maintaining your duty of care as a parent, your child is more likely to put their trust in you and realize the love, care and affection you have towards them hence creating a stronger relationship with you.  
Setting limits 

It is your responsibility as a parent to set limits and guidelines for your child to follow. Using guidance is much more useful than severely punishing your child as that only distances them further. By setting limits, you’re allowing your child to know what’s expected from them, learn about fairness and respect others. 

Children grow up and are mostly around their parents and so teaching them correct behaviors and setting out expectations in regards to how they should behave both around the family and in public is essential. 


This is not always about punishing your child after they’ve done something wrong. Instead, discipline should be about guiding your child’s behavior. Establishing clear rules that are understood by your child is an easy way to discipline your child. As mentioned earlier, your child will often tend to do the same thing you do and so by being a good role model, you are showing your child the correct way to behave. However, in order for your child to learn to the right thing, there should be consequences for poor behavior. 
Correct discipline can lead to building a positive relationship with your child as they may understand that you’re only doing what’s best for them and have their best interest at heart. 

How To Provide Healthy Environment For Your Children

Every parent wishes there was a “Parenting Handbook” at some point in their parenting duties. From knowing what to say in the right situation to knowing how to correctly discipline, it is true that parenting is not for the weak hearted. Since children are each so vastly unique in how they view the world having a simple design to parent kids would make parenting so much easier. 

Here are 5 healthy parenting tips to help you with your positive parenting goals.  While parenting is more multifarious than just applying these tips, if you’re consistently incorporating these tips into your family you can provide a healthy, encouraging, and safe environment for your children. 

Encourage Your Child 

This is one of the most important principles you can apply to your parenting strategy. By encouraging and nurturing your children, they are fostering a sense of self, their importance in the world, and a sense of belonging. This is where self-worth and self-esteem are developed. Essentially, spend quality time with your children by learning who they are, how they think, and show them that you value them through love and affection. 

Set Boundaries 

Boundaries are the rules and limitation within the household. Teach them to speak kindly to one another, encourage sharing, and inspire them to always tell the truth. These are values you want your children to learn. If you teach and encourage your child to be respectful to others then they will be respectful. Most kids don’t just wake up one day and understand the concept of respect. That’s our jobs as parents to teach them. So if you believe being respectful means speaking kindly to one another then that is the boundary you incorporate in the home. Whenever you observe your child share his toys or speaking kindly, say to them “Wow Jimmy, good job at speaking kindly to your little sister! You are being very respectful. Great job!” 

 Set Routines 

Each day of our lives we live by a set of routines. Routines are a great way to encourage kids to perform certain tasks that need to be completed at certain times of the day. Daily routines like eating breakfast, getting dressed, brushing their teeth, and packing their school bag are great age appropriate tasks. As kids get older, add tasks and chores that are age appropriate to their daily routines. Make sure what you are expecting your child to do matches their age and skill level if not you might find some routines and tasks difficult to maintain. Here is a list of age appropriate chores to get you started. 

Set Rewards and Consequences 

Use rewards well by reassuring any aged child how proud you are of his or her decisions and choices. Likewise, express concern and consequences for poor choices. For younger children, use a rewards charts for kids to see their accomplishments. Consider the option of earning an allowance for completing chores and for positive choices. 

Keep it Fun 

Finally, the most important element in all positive parenting is keeping it fun. Spend family time together, play board games, go to the park, have a picnic, or laugh together. Parenting is a full-time job and often we get so busy with daily life that we forget that it is about having fun TOGETHER. So plan fun activities with your children, ask them what their idea of fun would be, and try not to be overly focused on expectations of you, and begin concentrating on what you can do today to make you and your children 

Believing in Your Child

We give our children wings when we believe in them. When we trust in their dreams and what they’ll be able to do, they can fly. That’s why we must play the role of mentors, dream-makers. Parents must understand that one day their child will follow their example and not their advice. 

What can we do to support a child’s self-esteem? 

Speak nicely to them: speaking nicely to our little ones means speaking to them with affection, patience and positivity. If we do, we’ll be showing them a good example and helping them balance their emotions. 

Tell them stories that make them better at introspection. Children should understand that it is of the utmost importance not to forget about what we think, feel and do. Through communication we get knowledge about people (ourselves and others) and things.  

Praise and do not ridicule: We’re talking about highlighting, reinforcing and recognizing their positive behaviors. Here’s a golden rule: praise in public, criticism in private. 

Help them handle frustration and teach them to be proud of their achievements. 

Make them feel like an important part of the family. 

Avoid overprotecting them and encourage good socialization with their peers. 

Educate by example: Parents should be a good model of self-esteem. 

Your 10 Minutes Matter

Take 10 minutes to play something REALLY special with your little one today, and tomorrow, and the next day. Yes, you read that right, just 10 minutes per day. 

⁠Make it really special, give time for your child. No phones, no siblings. All 10 minutes. Your toddler chooses anything they want in the world to play. 

⁠Because when they’ve had a hard day, they can’t say “I’m sad” or “I need you.” Instead, they just need you to connect, and play. This one’s a game changer. 

Follow Through

Children usually sense when you mean what you say and when you don’t. It’s usually best not to say anything unless you mean it and can say it respectfully, and can then follow through with dignity and respect.

The key to effective limits and boundaries is to say what you mean and mean what you say. This means you need to think before you speak, which generally means you should take time to be calm and consider things rationally.

 Don’t set a consequence that you know you won’t be able to follow through on– and don’t follow through when you know you’re being unreasonable or simply acting out of anger and frustration.

Remember, discipline is meant to teach. Set consequences in advance, preferably with your child’s input, then follow through with dignity and mutual respect.

How To Limit Your Child’s Screen Time

Screentime is addictive and interferes with relationships. There is research that demonstrates how the brain develops differently with excessive screen time, so it is true that screen time does affect a child’s development.

But my guess is that you don’t need research to know that your children are on their screens too much each day; you know this from your own wisdom and intuition. The key lies in finding a balance. Yes, kids are keeping up with technology and learning new skills that will help them if their lives. And yes, too much media use does prevent them from becoming proficient in person-to-person communication skills.

Try these ways to help manage your family’s screen time so it doesn’t manage you:

Have a Family Meeting. Get the whole family involved in a plan for reducing screen time. Part of the solutions should include things to do in place of screen time. It is more difficult to give something up when you don’t have plans for what else to do.

Create a “parking lot” for electronics—have a basket or charging station in a central location in the house at which family members “park” their electronics during certain times of day.

Establish new routines. Start with one time of day to be screen free (such as dinner) and periodically add on other times of day.

Stay close with your child with Special Time. Children will listen to your limits about screen time when they feel understood and that you “get” them.

Spend regular one-on-one time together to keep your relationship strong.

Hold limits with Kindness and Firmness. Changing a screen time habit is hard; be ready for disappointment, anger, and sad feelings. Hold your limits by empathizing with a child’s feelings and sticking with the limit you’ve set.

When Kids Experience Complex Feelings

Kids experience complex feelings just like adults. They get frustrated, excited, nervous, sad, jealous, frightened, worried, angry and embarrassed.

However young kids usually don’t have the vocabulary to talk about how they are feeling. Instead they communicate their feelings in other ways.

Kids can express their feelings through facial expressions, through their body, their behaviour and play. Sometimes they may act out their feelings in physical, inappropriate or problematic ways.

From the moment kids are born, they start learning the emotional skills they need to identify, express and manage their feelings. They learn how to do this through their social interactions and relationships with important people in their lives such as parents, grandparents and caregivers.

When we understand the critical role emotions play in our children’s development, we need not squash them when those feelings challenge us. Instead, we can help train them at various ages and stages to listen to their heart and respond in ways that will be healthy for them and others.