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Full PreFrontal: Exposing the Mysteries of Executive Function

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Episode 47: Navigating the Educational Terrain

No one is free form worrying about their children and their success. From sippy cups, nap times, and play dates, parents move on to worrying about lost papers, missing homework, too much cell-phone use, or not getting a part in a school play. Normal mishaps aside, a struggling child can cause even greater worry. Email exchanges like this one are not uncommon. “Johnny seems to work tremendously hard in school, but he is struggling to get his work done efficiently. I am concerned that he’s...

Episode 46: A Garden for Sutter Keely

Sutter Keely is a smart, goofy, sensitive, troubled, unserious, and lost teenager who doesn't have the best Executive Function skills. Sutter is the main character in the movie ‘The Spectacular Now’ whose life choices are not that off the mark for a teenager but do certainly stand out from his sweet, focused, ambitious, and future-centered ex-girlfriend or the studious, hard-working, curious, engaged, and caring new girlfriend. This movie beautifully captures the angst of a young man who...

Episode 45: iMotivate

A child opens a fun little children’s book and comes across two words ‘trogglehumper’ and ‘frothbuggling’. He’s immediately drawn in. You can hear him wonder, “what’s that?” What a way to capture a kid's interest and tickle their imagination! Celebrated children’s author, Roald Dahl, had knack of doing that. He once said, “If you want to remember what it’s like to live in a child’s world, you’ve got to get down on your hands and knees and live like that for a week.” Roald Dahl recognized...

Episode 44: A Misbehaving Child is a Discouraged Child

A recent headline read, “Demonic child on flight” that described a passenger who filmed his horrific experience while traveling with a screaming 3-year-old on a long flight from Germany to the USA. The video stirred up a Facebook controversy where many empathized with the mother while the rest blamed her for failing to control the child. Misbehavior implies the intention to misbehave. Dealing with a screaming 3-year-old on an 8-hour international flight or handling a student with challenging...

Episode 43: Hold Back the Slap

Recently, during a baptism ceremony, an 89-year old French priest lost his cool and slapped a 2-year old toddler in the face, who wouldn't stop crying. The whole incident was caught on camera and went viral as one can imagine. The priest later said. “It was something between a caress and a little slap. I was trying to calm him down, I didn’t really know what to do.” Somewhere, the switch in the priest’s brain flipped where he felt compelled to react with anger towards a baby, which he...

Episode 42: Ladder to the Sky

For a west Philadelphia high school dropout, Troy Carter has had an incredibly impressive career where as a talent scout, manager, and producer he has launched artists like Lady Gaga to fame. However, his creative entrepreneurship transcended industry silos as he has become first of his kind to be an angel investor in more that 100 Silicon Valley startups including Spotify. But as a child, Troy was so tiny that he would always be in the front and center in all school pictures while class...

Episode 41: The Engagement Consultant

Each day, more than 7 million children in the United States are left to their own devices for at least some period of time after the school day ends. And research shows that children who are deprived of a supervised environment by a supportive adult are likely to develop a gamut of academic and behavioral problems. Sometimes the only nurturing adult in a child’s life is a teacher who encourages them to take academic and social initiatives, crafts opportunities for inner growth, and bonds...

Episode 40: A Mistake Stick Sounds Better

When Office Depot® sells a pencil on their website the description says, “Brand Basic Wood Pencils, #2 Medium Soft Lead, Pack Of 36”. Now take a look at Nick Offerman’s website and see how he sells a pencil. He’s the actor who famously brought the character of Ron Swanson, a colorful crank, to life in the sitcom Parks and Recreation. First of all, Offerman Wood Shop (OWS) calls it a Mistake Stick and the description says, “Keep an OWS pencil in your beard/bun at all times because you never...

Episode 39: Meet Me at the Margins

On April 11, 1734, a tiny notice appeared in the small corner of the Pennsylvania Gazette owned by Benjamin Franklin that read, “Ready money for old rags”. People poured in just as expected. Franklin, the entrepreneur extraordinaire, who also held a license to print paper currency, began to send these rags to the mill he owned to convert it into paper money; thus popularizing the notion, rags to riches. Since then, the American psyche has been steeped into the belief that everyone who has...

Episode 38: A Blueprint for Success

Every day we go to bed knowing we have left many things unfinished, allowed intrusive thoughts about unfinished business interrupt the work flow, and wasted a lot of time. Even though, the productivity guru Stephen Covey has famously said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing” many of us can’t decide fast enough or well enough what that main thing is. The researchers agree that having to make decisions, small or big, every step of the way depletes the mental resource...

Episode 37: Self-Control – Antidote for Self-Sabotage and Imprudence

A secret ingredient in the life of an easy-going, popular kid with lots of friends and good grades is self-control. Eventually, this kid grows up into a focused, accomplished, and well-adjusted adult who lives a physically well-disciplined and financially secure life without ever brushing against the law or criminal justice. On the other hand, those who fail to deploy self-restraint bear the brunt of an onslaught of bad decisions and a life of discontent. On today’s podcast, the...

Episode 36: Seeing Eye Dog for the Mind-Blind

Wired magazine once challenged 39 sci-fi writers and creative types to put their artistry to test by writing a 6-word story. Author of beloved Wicked series, Gregory Maguire came back with a clever riposte, “From torched skyscrapers, men grew wings.” These simple string of words sets the brain’s into motion. It wonders, what are the men are thinking, what are they feeling, what was the author thinking, and what do the other readers make of this. While a good writer tickles the reader’s...

Episode 35: M is for Mindreading

In the world of limitless possibilities, there is a limit as to how much one can know about the minds of others. Take an example: Have you ever been in your head so much that your insecurities catch up with you and you fail to gauge what others are thinking and feeling? It all simply begins when a friend doesn't return your call; or at least not right away. You begin to guess what her reasons are to not call and from there on, it escalates into this drama inside where you end up wondering if...