Some kids struggle to manage their emotions in a healthy way. Others worry excessively about normal, everyday events. Some kids express a fear of making mistakes. Others miss out on positive social interactions due to their inability to form and maintain healthy friendships. Kids as young as 4 years are displaying symptoms of anxiety.
The good news is, kids can learn better ways to cope with life’s challenges by enhancing their awareness of their thoughts, feelings and behaviours. In addition, kids can learn to enhance their executive skills. These are the brain-based skills required to execute or perform tasks. These are the brain-based skills needed to negotiate the typical demands of childhood at home, at school and with friends. These ‘habits of mind’ enable kids to:
- Get organised
- Initiate work
- Stay on task
- Control impulses
- Regulate emotions
- Be adaptable and resilient
We combine Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and evidence-based strategies to boost executive skills to help kids build resilience, prevent and reduce anxiety. Kids learn with other kids. Teens learn with teens. Parents learn with parents.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps people learn strategies to reframe the different types of thought patterns that fuel mental health issues such as anxiety. Unhelpful thought patterns can undermine relationships with others, learning at school and day to day life.
We use the evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) program Exploring Feelings developed by Clinical Psychologist Dr Tony Attwood. The program was designed to be highly structured, interesting and successful in encouraging the cognitive control of emotions.
At some point, to some degree, all kids struggle with getting organised, exercising self-control and getting along with others. But some kids seem to need constant reminders and/or supervision. They need additional help far beyond the point where others at a similar developmental stage, are beginning to manage certain tasks on their own.
The thing is, these kids are often strong academically, they just might lack (or lag behind in developing) executive skills – the brain-based skills needed to execute or perform tasks. They have difficulties getting organised, initiating or planning things, staying on task, adapting to change, controlling impulses, regulating their emotions and being resilient.
Conflict and frustration can arise in the household because kids might be expected to use skills they do not have yet.
Executive skills become more critical as kids venture into the world with less parental supervision and guidance. By acting now to boost your loved one’s executive skills, you could spare them a lot of difficulty in years to come. Executive skills are essential to the successful management of adult life.