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Importance Of Executive Functioning In Child Development

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Executive functioning(EF) refers to a set of cognitive abilities that allow children to control their impulses, pay attention and regulate emotions. These abilities are important for learning and everyday life. Disorders that impact EF can have a significant impact on a child’s development. This problems can lead to difficulty in school and social

situations. It is important to be aware of the signs of EF problems together.


When a child enters kindergarten the key focus should be on the below factors:

  1. Impulse control

  2. Attention span

  3. Emotional regulation

rather than on testing their knowledge of alphabets, addition or subtraction. To develop these abilities, the specific region of the brain has to be activated and strengthened. As children get older, they continue to build their EF skills. They learn how to plan, organize their belongings, and control their impulses with practice.


Children can become better at using their EF skills. It includes:

  • Paying attention.

  • Organizing, planning and prioritizing the tasks.

  • Completing the given tasks with in the prescribed time and staying focused through the task.

  • Understanding the point of view other than themselves.

  • Emotional regulation.

There are three types of executive functions:


  1. working memory: It is the ability to store and manipulate information in short-term memory. This includes remembering instructions, keeping track of current goals, and using previous knowledge to guide current decision-making.

  2. mental/cognitive flexibility: In this the ability to switch between different tasks or perspectives. This includes multitasking, attending to multiple stimuli, and considering different points of view.

  3. self-control/inhibitory control: It is the ability to control impulses and resist temptation. This includes resisting the urge to procrastinate, making decisions despite distractions, and exercising self-control in difficult situations.

These can be improved by some activities like singing, dancing or playing some instruments. Riddles, puzzles like brain teasers, crosswords, math and number puzzles or Rubik's cube help to boost the executive functions of the brain.

Conclusion: Executive functioning plays an important role in child development. If

any parents notice any issues with their child's EF than you can contact us.

If you found it helpful Like it, you can comment your query and follow us for more useful information and tips on child development.

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