Bright & Quirky Child Summit

Help bright kids thrive, even with learning, social and/or emotional challenges

Session 1: Executive Function: Building the Foundation of Success with a Reluctant Child

Michael Delman, MEd

Michael Delman, founder and CEO of the largest executive function coaching organization in the world, approaches executive function difficulty with an easy kindness and flexibility that truly showcases his ability to level with and understand his students. In this talk, he shares invaluable perspective on prioritizing the different aspects of executive function, addressing excessive video game and screen usage, and coaching a reluctant Bright & Quirky learner through the stages of change. Michael's realism and empathetic approach empower his students to take their learning into their own hands and invest in tailoring their toolkit to suit their needs. This is a must-watch for any parent who's ever worried about how to create buy-in and connection with their 2e child!


[accessally_missing_all_tag tag_id='1303794,662974' comment='Summit_2020_Has_Access,IdeaLab_Has_Access']


[accessally_has_any_tag tag_id='1303794,662974' comment='Summit_2020_Has_Access,IdeaLab_Has_Access']


[accessally_has_any_tag tag_id='662974,1303794' comment='IdeaLab_Has_Access,Summit_2020_Has_Access']



Now we'd love to hear from you. What's bubbling up for you after hearing the talk? Let us know in the comments section below.

[accessally_missing_all_tag tag_id='1303794,662974' comment='Summit_2020_Has_Access,IdeaLab_Has_Access']

Would you like downloadable audio, video and transcripts for this talk? Upgrade to the summit access pass to get 24/7 permanent access to all 22 talks, over 10 hours of streaming content, downloadable audio and video to watch on the go, and printable transcripts. Also get 4 amazing bonus talks and a very special invitation to join the renowned IdeaLab parent learning and support community.



(If you are a Summit 2020 Access Pass holder or Idealab member, sign in here for access to downloads, transcripts, and bonus talks)



  1. Karie on March 18, 2020 at 5:58 pm

    Thank you so much! So much helpful information and practical nuts and bolts that I will be trying with my middle school daughter.

    Fantastic took 4 pages of notes 🙂

  2. Emilie on March 17, 2020 at 10:19 am

    I’m behind on watching the Summit talks, but I’m so so glad I found time for this one. Thank you so much for this conversation! I have a 12yo PG kiddo with GAD who is for now completely overwhelmed with school, and facing a to-do list is completely dysregulating. We are working on slowly developing his capacity and resilience, but I’m thinking these tools would be so useful. I’m not sure if he’s ready yet for an EF coach, but maybe in the future. Right now it’s just one tiny thing at a time, but I hope we are doing the right thing. I would love to know if there’s a way to find out if we are approaching things correctly by going very slowly or if we could/should do more. It’s like baby steps of reach and teach…and were it not for school being out, we would not be able to keep up with school demands!

  3. Pamela Formosa on March 17, 2020 at 9:48 am

    Really enjoyed this talk. Thank you

  4. Rachel on March 15, 2020 at 7:39 am

    I really love the Bright and Quirky summit. The talks are always so meaningful. This one was no exception! I have thought so much about how to help my 9th grader with EF skills and have hit a brick wall so many times. The perspective and tips shared here were great. And the resources on your website seem equally helpful. Thanks so much!

  5. Clare Michelsen on March 15, 2020 at 2:09 am

    I really enjoyed your talk. Some of the tools I already use as they are time-honored and almost instinctive if we want to reach kids. So, a lot of validation there. I am a resource teacher and did feel like there was not a lot of empathy for the class teacher in the discussion. Actually, throughout this summit, it seems to be a case of the parents against the teacher. Teachers are not being projected as being a positive element in the relationship. If parents are always blaming the teachers then off course kids pick up on that and bring that sentiment into the classroom. However, it has been my experience that once teachers are supported to develop a toolbox of their own they become more confident about working with ‘all’ the learners in their classes. Let’s make sure teachers are at the heart of these conversations, share what works for your child, build the relationship and bring kids, teachers, and parents together.

  6. Trish on March 14, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    That was great! Would love to hear more about any training for therapists and teachers that can be done online or down under!

    • Michael Delman on March 14, 2020 at 6:28 pm

      Well, if you can fly me out to Oz, I’d love it – spent time there during my honeymoon. In the meantime, reach out to me by email at, and we can see about something online while we’re all managing the pandemic.

  7. cathy on March 14, 2020 at 4:09 pm

    Great information and so much food for thought on preparing my kiddos for the future with strong EF skills. Is there an age where it becomes imparative to start? Are there tools that are built for younger kids? I have a 1st grader and would love to start him off on the right EF foot for school work! TIA

    • Michael Delman on March 14, 2020 at 6:35 pm

      Hi, Cathy,

      Great question. Kids develop EF skills at some level from the youngest of ages although I’d refer you to early childhood experts to learn more about that. Check out Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne-Bryson’s “The Whole Brain Child” and Ellen Galinsky’s “A Mind in the Making” for excellent insight into younger kids. At the early ages, kids need our help developing impulse control and self-talk. There are plenty of tools designed for helping with those skills and others, and of course, the brain continues to mature with age. Reach out by email if you have any more questions:

  8. Kim Williams on March 14, 2020 at 4:08 pm

    My husband an I really enjoyed this session. Michael had some great tips and tricks. I appreciate how much these experts understand our 2e kids. It’s amazing how many times I am thinking “he/she is talking about Zach!”

    • Michael Delman on March 14, 2020 at 6:37 pm

      Thanks, Kim!

      Glad to help! Check out our website,, for more tips, and check out as many of the other talks as you can.


  9. Gloria Gallardo-Walker on March 14, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    What Michael Delman honed in for me is what we are hearing a lot about in these sessions that the relationship comes before the task. Loved the strategies to break everything overwhelming down into steps and to begin with self-regulation and then task initiation and sustained attention.

    • Michael Delman on March 14, 2020 at 6:37 pm

      Hi, Gloria,

      Thanks – glad to be of help.


  10. GINGER on March 14, 2020 at 2:37 pm

    Excellent, absorbing and POSITIVE discussion. I especially liked all of Michael’s strategies to transform the often-antagonistic parent-child homework relationship.

    • Michael Delman on March 14, 2020 at 6:38 pm

      Thank you, Ginger.

      You’ve hit the nail on the head!


  11. Darlene on March 14, 2020 at 2:09 pm

    Informative, encouraging, and optimistic! Appreciated the way you breakdown EF and its application of strategies.

    • Michael Delman on March 14, 2020 at 6:40 pm

      Thanks, Darlene,

      Glad it was helpful.


  12. Jessica Swabey on March 14, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Love this! Learned so much! Such great insight and understanding of how to connect with kids on yet another level. Thank you!

    • Michael Delman on March 14, 2020 at 6:44 pm

      Yay! So glad you got so much out of it:)

      Warm regards,

  13. Karen Cooper on March 14, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Wow! I am an educator with a daughter who is gifted and has sensory processing disorder. Her procrastination takes the form of, “I’m just going to take a five minute break”. These breaks are indefinite. Using some of these tools will be beneficial for her task initiation an motivation. Thankyou

    • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on March 14, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      Love this, Karen. The indefinite break. Know it well! : )

    • Michael Delman on March 14, 2020 at 6:47 pm

      Hi, Karen,

      Debbie is spot on. The Next Steps tool is a huge help because it decouples task initiation and sustained attention. A kid can deal with the boredom, annoyance, and frustration without the additional challenge of returning with no plan and having the additional anxiety piled on.

      Thanks for writing,

  14. Sara on March 14, 2020 at 1:39 pm

    As a teacher I love these tools and will be implementing them write away for ALL my students. Thanks sooo much.

    • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on March 14, 2020 at 2:41 pm

      Wonderful, Sara! My mentor Susan Baum (speaking tomorrow) often says that good teaching for 2e students is good teaching for everyone. Thanks for all that you do!

    • Michael Delman on March 14, 2020 at 6:48 pm

      Thanks, Sara – let me know how it goes if you’d like!


  15. Amanda on March 14, 2020 at 1:27 pm

    Many thanks. Really great to listen to. Great strategies to think about and try out.

    • Michael Delman on March 14, 2020 at 6:49 pm

      Thank you, Amanda.

      Glad to share! The Bright & Quirky Summit is an amazing aggregation of good ideas.


  16. Patti on March 14, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    Loved this talk! The examples Michael shared throughout, not only added humor to what can be a stressful topic, it also brought those concepts to life. Thanks so much for this wonderful information.

  17. Nina on March 14, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    WOW!! Thank you so much for this, I feel I need Executive function training for myself as well!!

    • Debbie Steinberg-Kuntz on March 14, 2020 at 2:42 pm

      I know the feeling, Nina. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Katie Ray on March 14, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    All of this information is so pragmatic and helpful. Thank you for sharing these tips to reach our children and students. I have some new approaches I can use on Monday when I go back into the classroom. I can’t wait to get your book Beyond Booksmart.
    Thank you BQ for providing this opportunity!

  19. Juan on March 14, 2020 at 11:11 am

    Really informative and inspiring!

  20. Tracy Harrington on March 14, 2020 at 10:51 am

    Very informative and enjoyable talk. I learned a framework and 5 tools I plan to try with my kids, plus a book I plan to read. Thank you!!

    • Lauren on March 14, 2020 at 8:21 pm

      So glad Michael’s talk had that kind of impact!
      -Lauren with the B&Q team

  21. Mare on March 14, 2020 at 10:42 am

    This was great!!! Thank you for this important and uplifting info!!!!

  22. Melissa on March 14, 2020 at 10:36 am

    I actually told my gifted nine year old that if she learned nothing else in third grade than how to persist at tasks that we boring and how to work with people who are less able than she is, I would consider it a successful year.

    • Lauren on March 14, 2020 at 8:20 pm

      I couldn’t agree more, Melissa. That is a life skill!
      -Lauren with the B&Q Team

  23. Sheryl on March 14, 2020 at 10:18 am

    Thank you, Michael, for laying out steps we can each take to help ourselves help our kids!! Such clear doable direction!

Leave a Comment