Gentle Discipline Using The Four Main Learning Styles

Every child has a preferred learning style and there are 4 main ones

As a mom of three boys, I’ve spent much of the last eight years of my life trying to get to know and understand my kids, for the benefit of our relationship. Yet it wasn’t until I began my journey into being a gentler, more mindful parent, that I realized that I clearly had so much more to learn. I thought I knew my kids, but it turns out that I only really knew their personalities. However when it came to parenting them, I went about it the same way across the board. I would often wonder why some things worked so well for one of my kids, and didn’t work at all for the other. My mind brushed it off as that specific child just being difficult, when in reality, I needed to better tailor my parenting to each of my children, based on their specific individual needs. This was also true when it came to discipline, yet discipline was one of the hardest things to change, and honestly is still one of the hardest to maintain. Despite gentle discipline still being hard, (because let's be honest, parenting in general is really freaking hard), what changed the game for us and made it a more positive experience, was when I started disciplining my kids based on their learning styles.

Every child has a preferred learning style and there are 4 main ones: Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinesthetic. I was able to determine children's learning styles, by analyzing their behavior and comparing it to the characteristics shown with each learning style. Doing the same may be helpful in identifying your child's learning style, so let’s look at the characteristics:

Your Child May be a Visual learner if they:

  • Enjoy looking at books to admire the illustrations

  • Complete tasks best when given a visual example

  • Have a photographic memory and can recall peoples faces, places or landmarks easily

  • Are passionate about visual activities like painting, drawing, or photography

  • Are very observant

Your Child May be an Auditory Learner if they:

  • Enjoy talking and having conversations with others

  • Are passionate about music

  • Are tuned in and respond well when receiving verbal instructions

  • often sing or hum while playing or completing tasks

  • ask a lot of questions when working on tasks or activities

Your Child May be a Read/Write Learner if they:

  • Follow instructions best when the they are written down

  • Take notes often

  • Write notes or letters using scribbles that look like words (younger children)

  • Have a big interest in reading books or writing stories (older children)

  • Pretend to read the words in books (non readers)

Your Child May be an Kinesthetic Learner if they:

  • Fidget when they have to sit still

  • Find a way to incorporate movement into non physical activities (I.E Standing up while coloring, dancing while watching a movie)

  • Thrive at physical activities (I.E sports, jumprope, swimming)

  • Enjoy hands-on activities

Just being able to identify and have your child's learning style at the front of your mind is a very powerful tool in itself

While there are other learning styles, these are the four main and most useful ones when it comes to applying them to discipline. Yes I know, now you’re asking, “But HOW do we apply these as a discipline technique?” Let’s talk about it! When it comes to application, you’ve already started! Just being able to identify and have your child's learning style at the front of your mind is a very powerful tool in itself. It gives you a better understanding of how your child thinks and how to best communicate with them, now you just have to get creative. While I can’t tell you exactly how to apply these for every situation that may occur between you and your child, I can give you some examples to help you get your mind working.