A recent article in Science Daily supports the premise put forth at a recent education symposium about Black boys. That premise is that more resources need to be used in the early years—before age 9–for Black boys. Many young African-American boys are found to be lacking self-regulation. Why is this important? Research shows that young children who do not have self-regulation often have much lower academic success later in life.
So, what is self-regulation? It’s the ability to “listen, pay attention, follow through on a task, and remember instructions.” It is the child’s ability to self-regulate, and it’s essential for academic success. Another article reports similar findings for at-risk students—an apt description for many of our boys.
Researchers studied several groups of pre-school children in various countries, and they found that in every country, students with stronger self-regulation had significantly better academic outcomes than those who did not. Dubbed the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulder task from the classic Simon Says game, researchers noted that in countries already known to have stronger self-regulation than the U.S., those children ”did significantly better in math vocabulary and early literacy.”
VIDEO: Self-Regulation and Kindergarten
It seems that other classic games that you may have played as a child can help your child with self-regulation:
- Hide and Seek
- Simon Says
- Role Playing
- Red Light, Green Light
So, help the young children—both boys and girls—in your life to self-regulate by teaching and playing these games with them. It’s an inexpensive, effective way to help him to perform better in school.