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Prison or Princeton? Stress is a Killer for you, and your Child's Executive Functions.

educational videos executive functions stress

Executive functions may be a new term to you. The Harvard Center on the Developing Child calls them the brain's "air traffic control system," They are the skills that help us in planning, attention, redirecting focus, juggle multiple tasks and creativity. They have also been described as the tools to help us achieve any goal directed behavior, whether that's completing a grocery shopping trip or finishing college.

Prison or Princeton. To be specific on the significance of executive functions, Research shows that one of the most important sets of skills young children can develop are their executive function skills. Grit, Growth Mindset, Inhibitory Control that many parents know from Dr. Walter Mischel's famous Marshmallow experiments, these all fall under the domain of executive functions.

Executive functions, next to Social Emotional Learning are the most important skills we can develop in children.

We call it the "Princeton or prison” outcome. Albert Einstein had about 23,500 citations of his work. Drs Terry Moffitt and Avshalom Caspi together have over 190,000 citations because of the significance of their work.

In the longest and most extraordinary study of its kind, they followed more than 1000 children for over 30 years in Dunedin, New Zealand, invasively studying every facet of their lives.

Drs Moffitt and Caspi found that executive functions measured at age 3 could predict a child's future near failure or wonderful success.

In fact, Dr. Angela Duckworth has shown how executive functions account for over twice as much variation in academic performance as a child's IQ.

There are many things we can do to support executive function development in children. A critical on is to relieve stress in their lives and the lives of their parents.

In this video, we are proud to present Dr. Adele Diamond, the world's foremost researcher on  executive functions, who is also responsible for opening the field of research, presents how stress massively negatively impacts these most important skills of executive functions.

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