Help strengthen your child’s ‘mind muscle’

Earlier this year, the Collaboration for Early Childhood circulated a community survey targeted at parents with kids ages 0–5, aiming to gather input on the resources and activities parents would like to see in our community. Through survey results shared with the library, we learned that local families want more resources and support for managing kids’ behavior, addressing children’s social-emotional needs, and helping new parents discover local connections.

Our response? Offer more family-centered learning opportunities, such as our two-part parent workshop on executive functioning, starting this week.

Attend one or two sessions of our parent workshop

Psychologist Stefanie Frank will share executive functioning strategies for parents and caregivers of children from toddlers to teens to try at home. Register now for one or both sessions, held at the Main Library on consecutive Tuesday evenings, September 20 and 27.

  • Session 1, Tuesday, September 20, 7-8:30 pm: Learn about how specific interactions with children can support executive functioning skills and build brain architecture. Parents will get a toolkit of ideas to try at home and will explore how specific activities help children increase “mind muscle” related to self-regulation, focus, and flexible thinking.
  • Session 2, Tuesday, September 27, 7-8:30 pm: Frank will give parents and caregivers a quick review of Session 1 on executive functioning skills and will lead an open discussion and Q&A session. Strategies and activities will be proposed to help navigate various brain-building scenarios with children of all different age groups, from early childhood to adolescence.

Stefanie Frank is a psychologist specializing in neuroscience and child and adolescent development. Her work focuses on the cross-section of neuroscience, mindfulness, and social-emotional development to help people uncover the mind’s natural ability to manifest highly desirable outcomes in all aspects of life.

What is executive function?

As Harvard University’s Center on the Developing Child defines it, “Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. Just as an air traffic control system at a busy airport safely manages the arrivals and departures of many aircraft on multiple runways, the brain needs this skill set to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses.”

More ideas for you

Have you heard about our new Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood-themed storytime? Be Our Neighbor pairs structured discussions and activities with classic episodes of the public television favorite. Because children learn more when watching educational programming with their caregivers, this class is designed for 4- and 5-year-olds and their caregivers. It’s all intended to help kids gain social-emotional and executive functioning skills that will prepare them for school success—just the kind of support that caregivers in our community are asking for.

See the weekly storytime schedule for all three library locations »