Study Skills | Executive Function Strategies | Parenting Solutions
Dr. Peg Dawson, Psychologist and Executive Function Specialist, offers this explanation, "One of the responsibilities of parenting is to teach children the skills they need to become effective, independent, and self-regulated adults. For the first decade or so, most children are receptive to their parents teaching them. As they become an adolescent, however, they begin to resist instruction from their parents. This is because they want to establish their own identity. When children begin to push back at their parents’ effort to teach them new skills, coaching is an option to which many parents turn.
Coaching serves as a way station between kids relying on parents to manage (or micromanage) them and them being able to function independently. It’s an approach ideally suited to helping teens grow the executive skills they need to become the independent self-sufficient individuals both they and their parents want them to become. Coaching is a process to help students identify goals that are important to them and to make daily plans to help them achieve their long-term goals."
One-on-one, non-directive coaching is extremely effective in helping to develop self-management skills, however, there are many other interventions, tools, and strategies available for use in developing executive functions.
The coaching mindset views the client as “creative, resourceful, and whole.” Coaching allows the client to find his own answers within, to set and achieve personal goals, to determine his own path, and to develop self-regulatory habits. Through coaching, the student discovers his own strengths and limitations while realizing his potential for growth; he learns goal setting and monitoring; he learns to reframe how he views himself and his disabilities; and he identifies tools and strategies to help him succeed.
“Human beings are happier, more cooperative and productive, and more likely to make positive changes in their behavior when those in positions of authority do things with them rather than to them or for them.”
~Ted Wachtel, International Institute for Restorative Practices
Self-determination Theory is considered one of the leading theories of human motivation. This approach has been adopted by thousands of scientists worldwide.
Coaching encourages the client to become self-determined, which is crucial in finding success. The Self-determination Theory is based on “the ability to identify and achieve goals based on a foundation of knowing and valuing oneself.” The five steps are:
(Field & Hoffman, 1994)