Parents, teachers, therapists, students, What the heck IS Executive Function? This quick video will teach you the basics so you get it 🙂 You’ll know what it is, why it matters and 8 specific executive functions.
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Video Transcript: Click here to download the transcript PDF.
What is executive function, executive function, executive function? What’s up parents, teachers? Maybe some students. My name is Seth at SethPerler.com. Executive Function simply means how the prefrontal cortex, the front third of our brain, helps us to get stuff done. It helps us to execute complicated tasks. So what’s the problem? Well, the problem is for the students that I work with at least, is that we struggle to execute, to get things done when it comes to school and our responsibilities. Who cares? Why does that even matter?
Why it matters is because we’re worried that it’s going to impact somebody’s quality of life, this is a quality of life issue. We all must know how to execute in order to be happy, healthy, and successful. So here are eight executive functions to make this really, really clear to you.
Number 1: Our brain, our front part of our brain, the prefrontal cortex. If we’re going to execute on something, let’s say like homework, we have to know how to number one, organize. What do we organize? We organize our stuff, our backpacks, and the papers and folders in them, our desks, our lockers, our bedrooms. We even organize things like our writing when we’re doing essays or our thoughts when we’re thinking.
Number 2: Planning. Realistic planning and time management is so important. How do we really know how much time and energy it takes to do our homework, or write a paper, or get ready for school? Or can we do long-term planning like getting into college, or getting a summer job?
Number 3: Prioritizing. The brain helps us to prioritize the important stuff over the fun stuff when that’s necessary.
Number 4: Focus, concentration, attention. Can we focus on one thing until it’s done and not get distracted and be all over the place?
Number 5: Self-starting. The motivation to get started, not procrastinate.
Number 6: Decision-making. Are we making good decisions? The front part of our brain helps us to make decisions that are appropriate in the circumstances.
Number 7: Metacognition, or introspection, or self-reflection, or self-awareness. Are we reflecting on our strengths and our weaknesses realistically? And working on, you know, what works? We keep doing what isn’t working. We’re changing? Are we self-aware in that capacity with executive function? And finally, number eight.
Number 8: Super important. It’s emotional regulation. When we are anxious, or depressed, or overwhelmed, do we shut down? Do we lie? Do we make excuses? Do we get angry? Do we avoid? Do we deny? What happens when our emotions need to be regulated? Do we know how to do that? The front part of our brain helps us to regulate emotions. So these are some of them. And if we can’t execute, these are some of the aspects or the types of executive functions, and if we can’t execute very well, if we struggle with this, it can impact our quality of life.
Fortunately, there’s tons of hope. I work with students all the time, we are looking for transformation so that they have good enough executive function. So if we’re proactive, there’s tons of hope. Anyhow, that’s a bit about executive function. If you appreciate this video on my work, it means a lot to me if you execute by commenting below. What did you notice about people who struggle with executive function? Leave a comment below. It’d helped me if you execute on going to my website, sign up, get some freebies, follow my work. And finally, execute on sharing this with three people today, send this to three people you think might like it. Be well, and I really hope that today you execute on the most important thing, which is quality time with your child. Take care.