This issue of Zero to Three focuses on self-regulation and executive functions, two critical and related areas of cognitive development.
This issue of Zero to Three focuses on self-regulation and executive functions, two critical and related areas of cognitive development. These are the skills that allow children to pay attention, plan, follow directions, and control impulses. Although the preschool years are a sensitive period of dramatic growth in these skills, self-regulation and executive functions have their start in infancy, and they continue to develop throughout childhood and early adulthood. The articles in this issue describe how parents and caregivers play an important role in supporting the development of self-regulation and executive functions. Children need stable and responsive relationships, healthy routines, and stimulating learning environments. During daily routines and experiences, adults can help children focus their attention, practice self-control, solve problems, and manage strong emotions. Strong parent–child relationships are at the foundation of building these skills.