Coming home from work at six in the evening, I stared in dismay as I stepped into my daughter’s room. Her school books lay untouched and her room looked as though a cyclone had recently touched base.
“What is this?” I tried (unsuccessfully) not to shout. “Didn’t I call and tell you to finish your school work and tidy your room before I returned?”
My 11-year-old daughter looked confused.
“Oh, yes…,” my daughter said, looking around the room as though someone had just shone a light on it. “I didn’t remember…” she said softly.
What am I doing wrong, I thought? Why is it so difficult for my daughter to remember a few simple chores? Now that school had shifted back to in-person mode, was it getting too tough for my child to collect and retain everything that needed to be done? Why was my daughter so scattered that she could not complete simple organizational tasks- even when I asked her to do them?
As frustrating as it may feel to watch our child’s disorganization interfere with their success, it is most likely not due to a lack of motivation. Dr. Peg Dawson, a clinical psychologist and bestselling author of “Smart but Scattered Kids,” reminds us that children are still developing the executive skills needed to be organized.
Executive skills are the brain-based processes that help children regulate their behavior and set and achieve goals. Executive skills are managed in the frontal lobe of the brain and while they begin to develop shortly after birth, they will take up to 25 years to mature! [Read more…]