Are you looking for ways to help your child develop their executive function? One skill that can greatly impact your child’s success is the ability to prioritize. By teaching your child how to prioritize effectively, you can help them make better decisions, manage their time more efficiently, and accomplish their goals.
What Is Prioritizing?
Prioritizing is the ability to identify and order tasks or activities based on their level of importance and urgency. It involves being able to distinguish between what is essential and what is not, and allocating resources such as time, energy, and attention accordingly. Effective prioritization allows your child to make the most of their limited resources and achieve their goals more efficiently.
Why Is Prioritizing Important?
Prioritizing is essential for success in school and in life. Children who can prioritize are better equipped to:
- Meet deadlines
- Manage their time effectively
- Make better decisions
- Accomplish their goals
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Stay organized
Teaching Your Child How to Prioritize
Teaching your child how to prioritize is not a one-time event; the ability to effectively prioritize is a skill that must be developed and refined over time. Here are some tips for teaching how to prioritize at home:
- Start small: Begin by helping your child prioritize simple tasks, such as making their bed or brushing their teeth before school. This will help them build the foundational skills necessary for more complex tasks.
- Use visual aids: Create a visual chart or list of tasks that need to be completed, and have your child order them according to importance or urgency. This will help them see the “big picture” and prioritize more effectively.
- Encourage reflection: After your child has completed a task, ask them to reflect on their experience. Did they accomplish what they set out to do? How could they have prioritized differently?
- Model prioritizing: Set a good example by demonstrating effective prioritization in your own life. Talk to your child about how you prioritize your own tasks, and encourage them to do the same.
By teaching your child how to prioritize effectively, you can equip them with the tools they need to make better decisions, manage their time more effectively, and accomplish their goals. With a little patience and practice, you can help your child develop this critical skill and set them up for a lifetime of success.
- Caitlin Vanderberg, M.Ed., SMARTS Associate
SMARTS Executive Function Curriculum: smarts-ef.org
Research Institute for Learning and Development: researchild.org