How’s your kid’s executive function? Does she make smart choices—or are they only so-so? Discuss your child’s answers to these either-or options to get (or keep) her on track.
Probing Q #1: Would you rather do your homework immediately after school and have the rest of the night free or have fun first and then do your work?
Why you should ask: Few kids—or parents—really prefer work over play. But in choosing to work first, your kid will learn the value of waiting for a much-anticipated reward or break, and sharpen his time-management skills at the same time.
Probing Q #2: Would you rather study for a test with background music on, or would you prefer to work in complete silence?
Why you should ask: Household rules vary. But letting kids figure out what works best for them, or even just discussing when tunes are appropriate or distracting, will allow them to discover what helps or hinders reaching their goals.
Probing Q #3: Would you rather work on one very difficult homework assignment or five very easy ones?
Why you should ask: Does your child embrace—or shy away from—subjects that are new or challenging? Now’s the time to find out. Learning how to break down difficult assignments into manageable pieces plays a big role in a child’s development and academic success. With encouragement from you, your child may find she relishes the sense of accomplishment she gets after tackling a particularly onerous task.
Probing Q #4: Would you rather hear a guest speaker talk about a special topic at a school assembly, or listen to your classmates’ views on the same topic in a lively discussion in class?
Why you should ask: Encouraging your child to keep an open mind when listening to experts and peers will help him become a better listener and student. Being able to process information in various settings is crucial to kids’ development. It also enhances their language development, vocabulary skills, and ability to communicate with friends and adults.
Probing Q #5: Would you rather have to memorize the names of the 50 state capitals or memorize facts about planets, cloud formations, and stars?
Why you should ask: When kids are genuinely interested in a topic, they’re more likely to be invested in—and remember—the material. So, get your child pumped about sea creatures, dinosaurs, or anything else that triggers her curiosity and watch her academic performance soar!