Emerging conceptual frameworks identify executive functions as a potential explanatory variable in determinants of parenting, and a growing body of research has demonstrated associations between executive functions and parenting behaviors. Toward this end, the current study employs a process model investigating how maternal executive functions (working memory, inhibitory control, and set shifting) influence caregiving approaches to discipline, and how parental discipline is associated with children’s school adjustment over time. Additionally, this research represents one of the first attempts to understand the specific processes underlying a parents’ ability to take on a scaffolding approach within discipline scenarios. This sample consisted of 243 socioeconomically and ethnically diverse mothers and their 5–6 year old children. Multi-informant methods were used to assess constructs. Results showed that maternal inhibitory control was associated with greater use of scaffolding discipline, which was in turn related to higher levels of children’s school engagement and more positive teacher–child relationships one year later. Results are interpreted within an ecological framework regarding the role that parental neurocognitive functioning has on children’s adjustment outcomes. This research has implications for better understanding which aspects of parenting would be ideal targets when developing interventions to aide children in their adjustment to formal schooling.