Early Childhood Executive Functions

Self-regulation skills in Early Childhood

High quality early childhood experiences provide opportunities for children to build executive functions and self-regulation skills that support young learners to focus on problem-solving, impulse control, setting goals and working towards them, and getting along with others.

Self-regulation includes:

  • Self-control (inhibitory control)
  • Mental Flexibility (cognitive flexibility)
  • Working Memory

Self-regulation skills are taught through promoting a child’s ability to retain information, think in a flexible manner, and exhibit self-control allowing for persistence, initiative, curiosity, cooperation, and attention. Children learn and practice these skills through hands-on activities.

For more information about the research and promotion on self-regulation please visit the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University or the Mind in The Making Organization website.