The Carlson and Zelazo Lab at the University of Minnesota, has looked at how we can use the context of daily routines to introduce high-quality parenting practices in at-risk families in an effort to reduce household chaos and increase parent and child cognitive outcomes. Reflection Sciences Trainer, Andrei Semenov, and his research team are working on a new study: the “Ready4Routines” project, in collaboration with Harvard Center on the Developing Child, Acelero Learning, Frontiers of Innovation, and the Los Angeles-based Westside Infant Network. The project is designed to introduce and reinforce high-quality daily routines for parents who may find themselves in a chaotic and unpredictable environment. Ready4Routines delivers an 8-week parenting intervention to Early Head Start and Head Start families across the nation. Over the course of the intervention, parents learn about the importance of predictable routines as well as activities that are specifically designed to reinforce the development of self-regulation skills. Parents learn routines around meal preparation, bedtime wind-down and even activities based on mindfulness meditation that aim to reduce tantrums and increase emotional regulation. Over the past three years, our lab has been working with our collaborators on developing, revising, and implementing this project across the country and measuring its effect on executive function (EF) skills, parent-child relationships and various other outcomes. To date, we have seen associated decreases in parenting-related stress among parents who participated in the program. As measured by the MEFS App, we have also seen substantial improvements in children’s EF skills after their parents participated in this 8-week program. These EF skills are crucial for impulse control in children, as well as school readiness, academic achievement, social functioning, and mental and physical health. Our next steps in this program are to understand how parent-child relationships may change as a result of these high-quality routines as well as to explore how we can best make Ready4Routines accessible to all families.   By Andrei Semenov" />

Tag: executive function skills

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Cohort Effects on Delay of Gratification

The Marshmallow Test is conceivably one of the most prominent developmental research studies on delay of gratification. In the late 1960s to early 70s, American Psychologist and Stanford University Professor, Dr. Walter Mischel, and his team sat children down at a table and placed a marshmallow (or other treat chosen by the child) in front of…

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Executive Function Skills & Math

Executive function skills are important for regulating behaviors, as well as academic success, including math achievement. This relation between executive function skills and math is not surprising when considering the cognitive skills involved in solving mathematical problems. For instance, if you ask 5-year-old Lola to figure out, “How many pets are three cats and four…

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Executive Function Skills: Measure What Matters

Reflection Sciences’ Professional Development Team and Executive Function Experts have designed an early childhood session, “Executive Function Skills: Measure What Matters” that will be presented, live at Minnesota’s Metro ECSU on January 9, 2018. The session will address: What is Executive Function? Why should we measure it? What is the MEFS? How is the assessment…

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Pairing Digital Tools to Measure and Improve School Readiness

— PRESS RELEASE —                                              ST PAUL, MN (October 25, 2017) – Reflection Sciences, Inc., an education technology company founded by University of Minnesota researchers, and Kiko Labs, the San Francisco developer of Kiko’s Thinking Time™ games, are thrilled to announce a new partnership. Research on school readiness has uncovered a link between the skill-set referred…

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Primrose Schools National Survey Reveals Gaps in Skills Needed for Career Success

Research indicates skills needed should be nurtured in early childhood Entry-level employees are becoming less proficient in the skills most needed to succeed in today’s workplace, according to a recent national survey of human resources (HR) managers responsible for hiring. The survey, sponsored by leading early education provider Primrose Schools®, revealed skills like adaptability, teamwork and…

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Father Influence on Cognition + Executive Function

Father influence on cognition + executive function is the topic researcher Alyssa Meuwissen, Ph.D., has explored over recent years. In both research and popular culture, moms have often been depicted as the “default” parent.  However, demographic trends show that dads are becoming more involved in the care of young children. There is great variety in…

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Civic Science to Improve Child Outcomes

Mind in the Making author Ellen Galinsky, the Bezos Family Foundation, and leading researchers on Executive Function (including our Co-founders!) make the case for citizens and scientists to work together to address our most challenging and science needs to improve child outcomes in the latest issue of Child Development. Contact us to request the article.

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Metacognition and Executive Function: A Dynamic Relationship of Cognitive Functioning

Metacognition and Executive Function both help with behavior regulation, problem-solving, and more — skills that are crucial to success in school and in life. These two sets of cognitive processes have more in common than not, but they’ve traditionally been studied separately rather than in conjunction by research communities. Metacognitive thinking has been studied by…

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What Is Social Development in Early Childhood?

Social development in early childhood is an important part of a person’s overall health, well-being, and happiness throughout his or her life. Social development is very closely linked to cognitive and emotional development, and together these developmental markers and milestones build the foundation for developing relationships with other people, coping with stressful situations, and many…