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.


Screen Time Guide for Parents

#Repost Credits to: myvision.org

Screens are everywhere in the modern world. But spending too much time looking at screens can be harmful to your children’s eyes, bodies and minds.

Setting limits regarding screen time can protect your child’s health and help them live a balanced, happy life. There are many tools to limit what types of content your child can access and for how long. Teaching your child how to interact appropriately with digital media will also help them stay safe while living a modern life.

Too much screen time can cause the following eye-related symptoms in children

  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Dry eyes
  • Eye discomfort

It can also affect children’s physical and mental health in the following ways:

  • Reduced socialization
  • Poor self-esteem
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Weight management problems
  • Mood problems
  • Sleep problems
  • Increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other chronic health problems
  •  Shortened attention span
  •  Screen addiction

How to Develop Screen Time Rules

Limiting your child’s screen time will improve many aspects of their life. To put boundaries on screen time:

Limiting your child’s screen time will improve many aspects of their life.

  • Pre-screen any media your child will view. Some media are not suitable for children, even with limited exposure.
  • Look for interactive screen time options. Screen time that is spent doing something active, such as creating digital art, practicing basic coding, or playing an educational game, is less harmful than screen time watching videos or television programs.
  • Use parental controls to limit the types of content your child can access as well as how long they can use those electronic devices.
  • Supervise your child as much as possible while they are online.
  • Discuss with your child the media they use. Ask them questions about what they are seeing and offer an outside perspective to help them fully explore the subject matter.

Suggested Screen Time Limits by Age

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends the following amounts of screen time for children of different ages:

AgeRecommended Screen Time
Under 18 monthsNone, except for video calls with an adult present
18 to 24 monthsOnly educational content under adult supervision
2 to 5 yearsOne hour of non-educational screen time on weekdays and up to three hours on weekends
Over 6 yearsLimit specific screen-based activities, such as video games, instead of overall screen time. Encourage an activity that does not involve screen time.

Enforcing Screen Time

There are many tools available to help parents enforce screen time limits and content restrictions for their children.


Apple’s iOS devices come with a built-in Screen Time application you can use to restrict access to age-inappropriate content, set time limits for specific apps, and schedule blackout times during which no apps can be accessed. You can also review how much time your child has been on their device over the past seven days, including which apps they used and for how long.

To use it:

  • Tap the Settings button on your home screen.
  • Tap the Screen Time menu option.

This feature can be secured with a Screen Time passcode so that your child cannot change the settings without your permission.

Although Android phones do not have built-in parental controls, Google Family Link is a free app that provides similar functionality. It is also available on Apple devices running iOS11 or higher.

This app allows parent accounts to remotely lock their children’s devices, set time limits for each app, and schedule a “bedtime” for child devices to ensure the device cannot be used past that time. It also allows you to view data on your child’s app activity, including daily, weekly, and monthly reports.

To install it:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your child’s device.
  2. Select “Google,” and then “Parental controls.”
  3. Press the “Get started” button.
  4. Select “Child or teen,” then press “Next.”
  5. Select your child’s Google account or create one for them, then press “Next.”
  6. Sign in with your own account, then follow the steps listed on-screen.

Game Consoles

 Nintendo offers a free parental control app for the Switch that allows you to set play time limits  and restrict when the console can be used. You can also use it to review which games your child has been playing and for how long.

To use it, you will need to pair your smartphone to the Nintendo account you want to manage.

  1. Open the app and sign into your Nintendo account. You will receive a six-digit registration code that you will need to enter on your Switch.
  2. Pick up the Switch and open the System Settings menu from the home screen.
  3. Select “Parental Controls” from the menu on the left.
  4. Select “I have the app installed.”
  5. Enter the registration code you received on your mobile device.
  6. Select “Register” to confirm.

You will then be able to set whatever time or content limits you see fit from the smartphone app.

Playstation’s parental controls also allow you to set restrictions. They also allow you to restrict the use of chat and messaging features, Playstation VR, and the internet browser. To use these features, you will need your own Playstation Network (PSN) account as well as a separate account for each child. Then:

  1. Sign into your PSN account using your web browser or Playstation console.
  2. Navigate to “Account Management,” then “Family Management.”
  3. Select “Add a Child.”
  4. Enter the child’s name and birthday.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to set time limits, content restrictions, and other parameters.

Xbox’s parental controls perform most of the same functions. To use them:

  1. Sign into your “Family Safety Account” on family.microsoft,com.
  2. Click on the family member whose screen time you want to restrict.
  3. Select Screen Time
  4. Scroll down to “Xbox consoles” and select “Turn limits on.”
  5. Use the menu to schedule times when use is permitted or to allot a specific number of hours available for use each day.


Many smart TVs have built-in parental control systems, but most only offer content restriction features without the ability to set limits for screen time.

Google products are the exception. Google TVs and Google Chromecast devices both offer children’s profiles with the ability to limit screen time.

You will be prompted to set screen-time limits and other parameters during the profile set-up process when creating a children’s profile. You can then change these parameters at any time using the account’s “Settings” menu.


The process for setting up computer screen-time limitations depends on which operating system (OS) your child’s computer is running on.

Microsoft’s parental controls for Windows 10 and above are run using the same Microsoft Family Safety system Xbox devices use. To set them up:

  1. Follow the instructions for Xbox controls listed above up to step 3.
  2. Select “Windows 10 devices” and select “Turn limits on.”
  3. Schedule times for computer use as needed.

Apple’s parental controls for MacOS Catalina and above also offer content blocking in addition to time limit features. To set them up:

  1. Have your child sign into their user account on their Macintosh computer.
  2. Click on the Apple menu, then select “System Preferences,” then “Screen Time.”
  3. Set up downtime hours, screen time limits, content limits, and more according to your needs.
  4. Click on the “Options” button in the lower-left corner.
  5. Select “Use Screen Time Passcode” and secure the Screen Time menu so that only you can access it.

Tips to Reduce Children’s Screen Time

There are some simple actions parents can take to reduce the amount of screen time their children get each day.

young boy on computer
  • Practice good habits yourself. Children look to their parents to set an example. Let them see you reading books, going on walks, socializing with friends, enjoying hobbies, and generally spending time away from screens.
  • Turn the TV off during mealtimes. Instead, use that time to connect with your family.
  • Avoid exposing your children to screens for at least one hour before bedtime. This will reduce the likelihood of sleep issues caused by exposure to blue light.
  • Teach your child about the negative effects of screen time. Children who understand why they are being asked to follow certain rules are more likely to comply. Discuss screen time as a health issue and encourage them to make healthy choices with their free time.

Teaching and Encouraging Digital Literacy

Teaching your child digital literacy skills can help protect them against some of the consequences of high screen time. For example:

  • Show your children how to think critically about the digital content they consume. They should understand how to evaluate the trustworthiness of a source and how to compare, contrast, and combine information from multiple sources to get a range of perspectives on an issue. Once you have covered the fundamentals, help them practice this skill in real-world contexts with you by their side.
  • Show your children how to create digital media as well as consume it. Encouraging children  to experiment with this technology reinforces the idea that media is created by people with many different motivations. It also gives them high-quality interactive ways to use their allotted screen time.
  • Explain the concept of a digital identity and how to manage it. Children may not have a full understanding of privacy or the fact that what they post and share online can be traced back to their real-world identity. Teach your child how to use the privacy settings on their social media accounts and any other relevant online locations.
  • When possible, teach digital and print-based skills at the same time. When your child is learning to read, show them what letters look like on a screen as well as on paper. Show them that they can use their devices to read e-books and show them how  age-appropriate games will help them learn.

Teaching Good Behavior Online

It is important for children to learn how to be good online citizens as soon as they begin to spend significant amounts of time online. Teach your child to:

Children do not always consider the consequences of their actions while online. Teach your child how difficult it is to delete something that has been published online.

  • Follow the same rules online as they would in person. Your child should understand that your expectations for their behavior are the same in all settings.
  • Always keep private matters to yourself. Your child should never share their contact information or home address with anyone they do not know. Passwords should not be shared with anyone but you. Inappropriate images and hurtful comments should never be shared at all. 
  • Stand up for others online and report misbehavior. Emphasize the importance of kindness and respect, even when other people do not exemplify these values. Empower your child to make positive changes in their online community.
  • Resist the temptation to be dishonest online. While it is often easier to cheat or steal online than it is in person, those actions are still wrong.
  • Always think twice before posting or sharing something. Children do not always consider the consequences of their actions while online. Teach your child how difficult it is to delete something that has been published online and that they should only post things they want everyone to see – including family and authority figures.

Places to Look for Help

  • This article by Nemours KidsHealth offers more information on screen time recommendations, including some suggestions to improve the quality of your children’s  screen time and reduce the number of hours they spend in front of screens. 
  • This screen time tracker created by the We Can! Initiative from the US Department of Health and Human Services helps you add up all of the different screen time sources in your child’s life to better understand their total exposure. 
  • This tip sheet from Canadian non-profit MediaSmarts offers guidelines that parents can use to start discussions with their children about their media use and its implications for their physical and mental health.
  • This webpage from the American Academy of Ophthalmology provides more details on how extended screen time can hurt children’s eyes. It also recommends some techniques you can teach your children to protect their eyes when using screens.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the recommended guidelines for screen time?

Recommended guidelines for screen time vary according to age. Pediatricians recommend no screen time for children under 18 months but do not set firm limits for children over 6. Consult the chart above for more detailed information.

What is a normal amount of screen time?

Children between the ages of 8 and 18 average 7.5 hours of screen time each day, not including time spent doing homework. However, this is significantly more screen time than recommended by experts.

Source: Screen Time Guide for Parents | MyVision.org

Teach Your Child to See the Good Side of Their Mistakes 

As a parent, when kids make mistakes, let them realize what lessons they learned from their mistakes, what did the experience really teach them, and what they will do differently next time. 

We are not perfect, we fail, we make mistakes, this is the reality, we cannot protect our children from this, but we can teach them to deal with it, to deal with their mistakes in the right and healthy way. Let them know that you do not expect them to be perfect. Let them know you love them no matter what, your love is unconditional. Share your stories about your mistakes too, the consequences and how you learned from them. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband. 

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Let Your Children Get Messy & Play.

Given the chance to climb, roll, crawl and jump freely, your little explorer can use their imagination to create anything they want. 

Mess-making is undeniably good for kids. For most, it is joyful and wildly engaging. Messy play builds foundational skills that are crucial for children’s later development. It is one of the most important kinds of early learning experiences we can offer to infants and toddlers.  

Embracing a mess can come down to doing two things at the same time: Showing kids that we understand their drive to make messes while also teaching them that there is a time and a place for everything, including making messes. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Your Child Absorbs Everything

Our child’s brain has a learning design; our kids can be more inventive and creative when they interact with different objects. Parents should be careful of introducing them to gadgets or screens; they will pick it up just after two tries when you show them how to do things. If the child is in an environment where she hears the language, she will speak it. As the child absorbs words and their meaning along with the context and emotions behind them, she begins to construct the ability to communicate. Healthy interactions between a child and their environment are essential to developing strong communication skills that will last a lifetime. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Understanding And Loving Your Child With ADHD

If you’re raising a child who has ADHD, you probably spend a lot of time focusing on his weak points — intentionally or not.  

To ensure that your child is happy and well-adjusted now and, in the future, — and to create a tranquil home environment — you’ve got to be a great parent to a child with ADHD. All it takes is a few small adjustments to your parenting strategies and the way you interact with your child.  

It’s not easy to accept that there’s something atypical about your child. But a child who senses their parents’ resentment — and pessimism about their prospects — is unlikely to develop the self-esteem and can-do spirit he’ll need in order to become a happy, well-adjusted adult. 

For a child to feel accepted and supported, he needs to feel that his parents have confidence in his abilities. Once parents learn to look at the gifts of ADHD — things like exceptional energy, creativity, and interpersonal skills — they can see the shine inside their child. 

While it’s true that your child’s mind works differently, he certainly can learn and succeed just like any other child. Just as a diabetic needs insulin and an asthmatic child needs help breathing, a child with ADHD needs their learning environment regulated. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Tips For Dealing with Your Child’s Learning Disability 

Your job as a parent is not to “cure” the learning disability, but to give your child the social and emotional tools they need to work through challenges. In the long run, facing and overcoming a challenge such as a learning disability can help your child grow stronger and more resilient.  

Always remember that the way you behave and respond to challenges has a big impact on your child. A good attitude won’t solve the problems associated with a learning disability, but it can give your child hope and confidence that things can improve and that they will eventually succeed. 

  • Keep things in perspective. Remind yourself that everyone faces obstacles. Don’t let it distract you from what’s important — giving your child plenty of emotional and moral support. 
  • Become your own expert. Do your own research and keep abreast of new developments in learning disability programs, therapies, and educational techniques. You’re the foremost expert on your child, so take charge when it comes to finding the tools, he or she needs in order to learn. 
  • Be an advocate for your child. You may have to speak up time and time again to get special help for your child. Embrace your role as a proactive parent and work on your communication skills. It may be frustrating at times, but by remaining calm and reasonable, yet firm, you can make a huge difference for your child. 
  • Remember that your influence outweighs all others. Your child will follow your lead. If you approach learning challenges with optimism, hard work, and a sense of humor, your child is likely to embrace your perspective or at least see the challenges as a speed bump, rather than a roadblock. Focus your energy on learning what works for your child and implementing it the best you can. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Things to Say Instead of Stop Crying 

Children cry for many different reasons, they may be frustrated, hurt or want attention. Whatever the reason is, the way you as a parent react to their distress will make an impact on them as a human. Approaching sadness and unhappiness with love and compassion is the best way to go. 

1. It’s OK if you’re sad  

It is OK to feel sad. But sad feelings don’t have to take over your mood or ruin your day. You can do things to help yourself feel better. When sad feelings ease away, a happier mood can take their place. 

2. You’re so frustrated! It’s okay, I’m here for you. 

Your child may not be ready to reach out at the specific moment that they’re upset, different personalities deal with feelings in different ways. Let them know that you’re there when they’re ready to talk gives them the incentive to talk about their feelings when they are ready. Some people prefer to think about what they’ve gone through and talk about it later, and some prefer to discuss things straight away. Acknowledging that either way is acceptable makes them feel at ease, and not pressured to talk about things right away. 

3. Why don’t we go out for a break and have some fun? 

If your child is frustrated or crying because he couldn’t do something he tried, this is an excellent way to take a time-out. 

4. “It’s okay to feel this way, baby.” 

If your child’s done something wrong or hurt his friend, he/she may cry because of guilt. This phrase is a good way to help them process those emotions. 

The next time your child is struggling with an overwhelming feeling, don’t immediately jump to “stop crying!”, have some of the above positive phrases handy so you can react with empathy and understanding.  

Feelings aren’t something to be avoided, they’re opportunities for connection. 

At the end of the day, we want to show our children that we always accept them. When they’re calm AND when they’re emotional. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Benefits of Positive Reinforcement in Raising Children 

Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool that can help children form good behavior habits, while minimizing negative outbursts that garner negative attention. 

Positive reinforcement is a parenting technique used to encourage obedience and inculcate desired behavior without the use of punishment, threat, abuse, shame, or humiliation. If you haven’t given positive reinforcement a try, here are some of the reasons why it’s time you should. 

1. Positive Reinforcement Boosts Self-Confidence – Encourage your children and give them verbal praise for displaying positive characteristics. This may build their self-esteem and help them see their personal strengths. If children are constantly being told they are doing things wrong or they are ‘bad’ then they may start to believe these things about themselves. 

2. Positive Reinforcement Makes a Child Feel Loved – Not all children understand the concept of discipline, and they don’t grasp why their parents try to make them behave in certain ways. This is the reason why, when children get punished or reprimanded, they mistake it as a sign that they are not loved, and that their parents simply just want to hurt them for misbehaving. That’s the last thing we as parents want to make our children feel. 

3. Positive Reinforcement Helps Motivate Your Child to Do Better in the Future – When a child, or anyone, is feeling down, sometimes all it takes is kind words of affirmation from others to help us feel motivated.  Since children are constantly growing and learning, positive reinforcement can motivate them to do better and keep striving to achieve their goals. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Focus Tricks for Students with ADHD 

 A young child can typically complete a five-minute chore with only occasional supervision. The average teenager can do a task, with short breaks, for one to two hours. But for children with ADHD, it’s completely different. Try these tricks for increasing focus and attention in your child with ADHD at home. 

🌟 Break schoolwork assignments into small segments. It’s easier for kids with ADHD to do six five-minute chores than to do one 30-minute chore. 

🌟 Reward your child when he finishes a task. Giving your child something to look forward to will energize him. 

🌟 Ask your child to estimate how long a task will take. Your child may think it will take an hour to do his math homework. If he finds it took him only 15 minutes, he will be pleasantly surprised — and much less likely to procrastinate the next time he tackles it. 

🌟 Gradually increase attention. Set a timer for two to three minutes longer than the baseline measurement and challenge your child to keep working until the timer rings. 

🌟 Be there. Children can sustain attention longer when someone is physically with them. Do homework time a family affair. 

🌟 Schedule movement breaks. Kids with ADHD work more efficiently when they have regular opportunities to get up and move around. 

🌟 Help him visualize time. Devices that show elapsed time will help him reset his focus when it drifts from the task.  

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

5 Important Social Skills for Kids 

Good social skills allow kids to enjoy better peer relationships. Making friends takes practice, and you can help your child by rehearsing social situations and role playing ahead of time. Look for teachable moments where you can help your kids do better. 

Teaching kids’ social skills is one of the most complex, confusing, but rewarding aspects of raising young children. I am here to help you learn the 5 most important social skills for kids. 

1. Sharin

Sharing is a part of daily life. That doesn’t mean it’s easy! A willingness to share a snack or share a toy can go a long way to helping kids make and keep friends. 

When you’re teaching children the concept of sharing, you can teach different things at different ages and it’s important to consider the child’s brain development. 

2. Following Directions 

Following directions becomes particularly important once your child enters into their school years. 

This is having the ability to listen, understand expectations, and follow through in a timely manner. 

Keep in mind, however, that multi-step directions are challenging for young children. To help them develop the ability to follow directions, give them one direction at a time. 

Strategies to teach following directions: 

Play games for following directions, like Simon Says and Freeze. 

3. Making Eye Contact  

Good eye contact is an important part of communication. Some kids struggle to look at the person they’re speaking to. 

You might even show your children how it feels to hold a conversation with someone who isn’t making eye contact. 

Invite them to tell another story and make appropriate eye contact while they’re talking. 

4. Patience 

It’s normal for young children to be impatient. However, patience really is one of the most rewarding social skills for kids. It’s important to remember that each child has a different temperament, and they learn patience in various ways.  

One strategy might work well for one toddler, it may not for another, and that’s okay. The goal is to find what works for your child and utilize those techniques to help them manage situations that require patience. 

Patience is indeed a virtue! By introducing it now, you can set your child up to reap the many benefits of this skill throughout their lives. 

For example: Practice turn-taking with board games. 

Try to practice and prepare him as much as possible at every opportunity, be it dishing up at the table or getting into the car. It helps with his social skills. 

5. Using Manners 

Good etiquette and social manners are essential life skills that enhance the personal, social and emotional development of every individual. 

Saying please and thank you and using good table manners can go a long way toward helping your child gain attention for the right reasons. Teachers, other parents, and other kids will respect a well-mannered child. 

The more your child experiences the benefits of social skills, the more intuitive these skills will become for them. However, all children learn at different rates. With practice (and patience!), we know they’ll get there. 

If your child seems to be struggling with social skills more than other kids, talk to your pediatrician. While it may just take a little extra reinforcement and maturity to catch up, a lack of social skills also can be a sign of other problems. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

How to Get Your Child to Obey Without Yelling 

Most parents yell at their kids at one time or another. However, for some parents, yelling becomes a bad habit. Yelling, bribes and threats may be the easy choice to get kids to listen, but they listen from fear instead of learning to obey and respect you as a parent. 

Teaching kids to be obedient is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but with a little patience and effort, it is certainly possible! If you want to get a handle on your child’s unresponsiveness, the first thing you need to do is figure out WHY he is NOT listening. Often, his lack of response is a SYMPTOM, not the actual problem. 

Here’s how to discipline without yelling: 

  1. Establish Clear Rules – Don’t assume your children know family rules until you’ve talked about them. Be sure your children understand why these rules are being made and the consequences for breaking the rules. Resist the urge to yell, nag, or lecture. When you do, your words aren’t likely to teach your child to do better next time 
  1. Connect before you direct – Instead, stop what you’re doing, go over to your child and acknowledge what he’s doing: “That looks like a cool race track you’re building.” Invite him to tell you about it and invest the time to really listen. 
  1. Ensure comprehension. – Have your child repeat back your request after you’ve made one to ensure that he understands what you’re expecting. This is a simple way to make sure everyone is on the same page, to allow you to clarify if you’re not and to ensure that your child actually heard what you were saying. 
  1. Follow Through – Avoid nagging or repeating a warning over and over. Instead, follow through with the consequence to show that you mean what you say. Consistent discipline is the key to getting your child to change his behavior and become more compliant. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog  

Put Down Your Phone and Pay Attention to Your Kids

It’s not enough to just be around your kids. You must be present, that means putting away your phone. Your children deserve phone-free time from you. 

The fact that no matter what we do, our children will follow. Parenting techniques have evolved from spending high-quality time with our kids; talking with them and playing with them, into distracting them with a screen as soon as they show the first sign of distress.  

As we struggle with the high demands of today’s fast-paced life, we as parents often find ourselves too overwhelmed to be completely capable of catering to our children’s needs.  

Because of this, we often resort to the convenience of a phone or tablet to occupy their ceaseless imaginations. Though sometimes useful, our choice to introduce our young ones to technology so early on could be hurting them far more than it helps us. Every time we put a phone screen in front of our child, we push them a step further into developing a dependency on an external source for “happiness” and “contentment.”  

So, try to limit your dependence on your smartphone as much as possible. Make up some rules that give you phone-free time—that give your kids phone. And make sure that when you’re with them, you are grateful for the moment you’re getting with them. 

Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.   

More articles on www.MrMizrahi.blog