Use their working memory. Working memory, or the ability to hold information in mind and “work with it,” is a skill that supports learning in all content areas. Children learn to remember and follow a routine, rules, or directions using relevant information (e.g., remember a few items your family needs at the grocery store as you shop).
Maintain focused attention. Children learn to resist distractions and instead use self-control to maintain focused attention.
Persist at tasks. Children show self-control by stopping impulsive actions and reactions, and they learn to persist at tasks, sometimes delaying gratification or resisting distractions to continue the task at hand through frustration or challenges (e.g., getting dressed in the morning). If needed, they may break the task into smaller, more manageable components.
Think flexibly. Children learn to think flexibly about a problem or situation by switching rules, doing the opposite, thinking about someone else’s perspective, applying different strategies or transitioning from one activity to another.
Plan ahead. Children learn to anticipate and consider future needs in preparing for activities. They set goals and then develop and follow through on plans.