How to Parent Children with Learning Differences: 5 Steps
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What do you do when your youngest masters the computer before her older brother? Encourage her!


The exciting thing about learning is it's an individual thing. Professionals who study the way people learn categorize learning into basic styles. Some people learn faster by reading and others prefer to physically do something to learn. We all have our own ways of exploring new things. The learning process isn't categorized by genetics or upbringing, so your children may learn in totally different ways than you or your partner. Understanding learning styles helps your toddler feel free to dive in and learn in an enjoyable way. Your job is easy -- facilitate the distinctive exploration and creativity.

EditSteps

  1. 1
    Invest in toys that allow your toddler or preschooler to play creatively. Elaborate toys that work only one or two ways don't encourage your child to find multiple options to solve problems. Purchase simple toys so your child can imagine possible ways to play. Colored, numbered and picture blocks along with multi-colored pens and paper, encourage creativity. Blocks cut in different shapes and clay also allow for experimentation.
  2. 2
    Avoid comments like "Do it my way," to allow your child to find her own learning style. Unless your preschooler is a Frank Sinatra fan, your child needs to figure out the way of doing things that works best with her preferred learning method. That might mean touching everything to get the feel of things, or asking you to repeat directions. Go with the flow and be prepared to clean up lots of fingerprints for touchy, tactile learners, or go crazy repeating yourself for auditory learners.
  3. 3
    Give your preschooler time to work through the learning process. Avoid saying, "Hurry up!" or "You're taking too long." Some children need more time to process and put new things into some sort of order for future learning. The time they're taking includes adding new channels to align the new knowledge with the other things they know. If you're lucky, your child might also use an adorable "serious face" during this process, but many toddlers simply sit quietly in deep thought.
  4. 4
    Encourage your child to work at her own speed, and avoid comparisons with other preschoolers. Saying, "Look at Charlie! He's already done with his project" or "Why it is taking you so long to finish?" creates stress for your toddler. These comments also put unnecessary pressure on your child and provide little comfort when she needs time to explore the answers.
  5. 5
    Avoid comparisons with other family members to encourage your child to explore learning. One child might learn the way you do, while the learning style of another seems to you like a foreign language. Avoid comparisons such as, "Why can't you be more like your brother?" or "Why don't you do things the way your sister does them?" Your child might feel that something is seriously wrong after hearing too many comparison comments.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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