Parenting Post – Linda Marten

Having trouble getting your kids to cooperate ?  You’re not alone. We all struggle with this. Shifting gears, or transitioning from one activity to another is often difficult for kids, especially if they are having fun.

It wasn’t until I understood the learning styles of my children, that I was able to get my kids to cooperate more easily (most of the time.) As most parents know, nothing works ALL the time, especially if you have a strong willed child or a child with special needs. Being a good parent requires a lot of creativity, persistence, and stamina. That’s why parents need to support each other in this long journey raising the next generation, and be willing to ask for help.

What are “learning styles”? We all take in information in three primary ways, through:
Our eyes ~ (the Visual Learner), Observing, Looking, “SHOW ME”
Our ears ~ (the Auditory Learner), Hearing, Listening, “TELL ME”
Touching, moving, experiencing ~ (the Kinesthetic Learner), Very Active, Athletic, Mechanical, “LET ME DO IT”

We all use all three learning styles, but one is usually stronger & the one we prefer.
Which learning style do you think your child prefers? Siblings?
What’s your learning style? Your spouses?

How can understanding learning styles help with discipline, transitions, homework, etc?
Here’s a story that demonstrates how a parent can get a child to cooperate more easily when they understand how they learn:
A long time ago, when my child was about 8 years old, I kept telling her to get dressed and she wouldn’t do it. I tried all the techniques: counting to 3, rewards, and when I lost my patience I yelled and threatened. Nothing worked. It was like she could not or would not listen to me. Was she from another planet? I thought.

What I didn’t know then was that my daughter is a “kinesthetic, hands-on learner” (and so is my husband).
My husband understood her in a way I didn’t. Instead of telling her what to do, he went and got her clothes and put them on the sofa. She immediately jumped right into them without a word from her father. I was amazed.
Soon after that incident, I went to a training about learning styles and it all suddenly made sense. My daughter is a Kinesthetic Learner and I’m a Visual Learner.
Most teachers are visual & auditory learners and that’s how they teach: you listen to them talk and look at what they write on the board and you read the book.
My son is an Auditory Learner, so guess who the teachers liked? Yes, they loved my son because he “listened” to them. That was his preferred way of learning.
Most teachers have a harder time teaching the Kinesthetic Learner because these kids want to move, and touch things and have a hard time sitting still all day in class.
So guess who gets labeled the “bad” kid or the “disruptive” kid?
Oftentimes it’s the Kinesthetic Learner.

So, accept your child as they are and don’t expect teachers to always understand your child’s learning style, although it would help.
Make sure your child gets plenty of opportunities outside of school to learn the way they like to learn, especially the Kinesthetic Learner. They especially need sports, hands-on creative activities, and textures they enjoy.

I hope this was helpful. Understanding your child’s learning style can help relieve a lot of the daily struggle involved in raising kids. I know it sure did for me!

Feel free to contact me for more information at:
[email protected]

www.culvercitysymphony.org

2 Comments

  1. One of my children is a Kinesthetic learner. I always said that he was the one who had to get a little shocked by the outlet because he didn’t believe anyone when we told him it could hurt him. Fortunately, he hasn’t hurt himself…much.

    I appreciate your clarification of most teacher styles. My oldest son is probably an auditory learner as well-and yes he did well in school.

    Great reminders about my children. Thanks!

  2. Amy- thanks for your reply!
    You are the first to reply to my new “Parenting Post”, so you made my day!
    I’m glad the information about learning styles was helpful.
    Many parents in my workshops have told me that understanding learning styles helped them a lot with their kids before, during & after school!
    Keep reading & responding! Thanks again!
    Linda

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