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PART 1 - Communicating (2 of 4)

Chapter 2

Who’s Who in your Zoo?



The way in which people learn and are subsequently taught can also influence the success path of each person throughout their life.


There are many ways to understand what type of learner you are, VAK[1] is a rather easy way to categorise your learning style.


Visual:


If you find yourself needing to see it to believe it, or you like watching videos or a picture tells the story for you, reading is a joy, then you are most likely to learn best with your eyes.


Auditory:


If you prefer to learn by listening to stories, lectures or love the sound of your own voice, then you would be tagged with being an auditory learner, meaning you would learn best from hearing.


Kinesthetic (Tactile):


If you need to ‘DO’, to learn and you are very hands-on when learning a new task, maybe you have little to no attention span when someone is speaking to you, then kinesthetic learning is best for you.


You may even be a learner who watches and then likes to do, meaning you learn less from hearing[2].


Or you might like lists to check off and love doing the task to develop your skills, again you learn less from hearing.


Are you a person who listens intently to learn, however when you watch without sound it goes in one eye and out the other?

Or are you able to learn all three ways? This would be a definite advantage.


Depending on who is teaching you, they will probably prefer their method of learning to share with you. This can be problematic in more ways than one, especially if you have siblings and they are all different types of learners.


Who is in your family?

What type of learner are they?

What type of learner are you?


If you want to punish a kinesthetic learner, ask them to read a book and then ask them questions, they are most likely to not have a recollection of what they have just read. Instead, let them listen to the story, be sure to give them time and space to recall the words and have them participate in an activity, rather than asking questions to retain the information.


Rob:


In high school, I had a teacher who regularly lost his cool with the students in the classroom. He wasn't anyone's favourite teacher. He was getting on in years and probably didn't have the patience for the younger people around him anymore.

His favourite punishment was to demand, “get out your _____ book, read from pages _______, such and such to such and such. Then there will be questions from me.”


This was like torture. I'm not a person who can read and learn quickly. I regularly would read the pages he asked, then I needed to go back over it again. So, by the time he would be ready to ask us questions, I would still be only halfway through it. So, it was always a struggle. This was not looked upon favourably. He would ask, “Did you just read what I told you to read? Are you stupid?”


We don't all learn the same way. Perhaps he had just never learnt that.


Lisa:


In primary school, my favourite teacher was my maths teacher, Mr Idon. As an auditory learner back then, I was in awe of his gentle voice, and the way he always started the lesson with a story. I idolised him, I guess, therefore my favourite subject was and still is maths. Having a variety of teachers meant that I needed to learn different ways, however, it was the teachers with a calm and caring voice that kept my attention. The ones that shouted and punished people by shaming them, lost my attention and respect.

Fun Activity


A fun experience to have with your family and friends is to find out from them what animal would best describe their personality and why. This is best done by asking them to draw a picture of the animal and then share verbally with everyone why they drew that animal. You will have fun sharing and learning about each other’s values and learning styles at the same time.

Lisa


For me, I see myself as a penguin. Short, black and white, always dressed to impress, and caring. Penguins to my knowledge live in a village, they are survivors, and are extremely loving and caring to their chicks. Did you know the male penguin keeps the egg on their feet and the female penguin goes hunting? The black and white represent yin and yang, balanced, and either right or wrong and that is me to a tee.


Rob


The animal in me is an eagle. I've always loved watching them swirling around in the sky observing, overlooking things, being protective of their family. I just love the way they move. I love the way they react to certain situations. It is magical to watch an eagle, large, graceful, strong and silent. With a very keen eye, I have always observed things more than most people. I notice things before they happen. I see people acting differently. Because of this vision and patience, I am an eagle.


In Gary Chapman’s #1 New York Times Best Seller, The 5 Love Languages® book series, he shares ideas on how to share love in your spouse’s language. Imagine what would happen if we were to include our children too! Or how about the whole family?


The 5 Love Languages ®


• Words of Affirmation

• Quality Time

• Receiving Gifts

• Acts of Service

• Physical Touch


Gary says that seldom do a husband and wife have the same primary emotional love language. We believe most people haven’t even recognised what each other’s love language is, let alone getting the children involved. Imagine understanding your own parent’s love language too!


There is a simple way to explore each other’s love language and that is to identify how each of you responds when someone is trying to show affection.


A compliment for example or words of affirmation may be all it takes for a person to hear your next words. Verbal compliments or encouraging words are a far greater motivator than negative words. Kind words and empathy usually come from a humble kind of person who would associate with the ‘Words of Affirmation' Love Language.


Try this first:


Make a list of positive traits of your family and friends list.

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When you hear things like, ‘you don’t spend enough time with us’, ‘we need to do something together’, ‘you are always busy', then that person is likely to respond to the ‘Quality Time’ Love Language. Giving undivided attention to this type of person will send them into a spin of joy and the feeling of connection. Being able to share their stories without you saying you are busy, would be the ideal moment in time for them.


Try this:


Complete the following sentence:


I feel most heard and understood when…...

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Do you or someone you know collect mementoes of their life? A memory of an adventure. Maybe a book, a shell or a jar of sand. These possessions mean the world to a person who resonates with ‘Receiving Gifts’ Love Language.


I remember as a little girl, receiving a new Golden Book or Match Box car, if I was well behaved, while mum did the food shopping. My daughter, on the other hand, was more than happy to sit in the trolley, simply spending time with me. I guess that could potentially make her both ‘‘Quality Time’ and ‘Receiving Gifts’. The gift being my time.


My son was just like me, a Pokémon card or book was his gift of choice, he also wanted my time and would often have a story to tell, so my patience was needed to give him the right amount of time.


Try this:


Make a list of the gifts you can give on a tight budget:

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It is easy to think you are doing the right thing for someone, however, if a person in your family is like me and identifies with ‘Acts of Service’ you may be doing the right things at the wrong time.


I adore my husband, and when he does the vacuuming, without me asking it brings me the incredible joy of feeling understood Even doing the washing brings us together. Imagine if you were to know, exactly what someone would love you to do for them.

As a child, I often felt accomplished when I knew exactly what mum needed ‘doing’. She was always in a better mood when the skirting boards were dusted.


Try this:


Make a list in order of preference, that could be done for you or others in your family.


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In a time of crisis, people who identify with ‘Physical Touch’ Love Language, will need to be held. Crisis or not, they will feel loved with a cuddle, a touch of the hand or any sort of physical contact.


Holding hands for children can be a loving touch or restrictive, depending on their Love Language. If your child is repelled by touch, it is probably time to learn what Love Language they are, so you can communicate with them at a different level. A back rub, brushing hair or an embrace may be all it takes to connect.


Try this:


Recall a touching time or experience that connected you with your family. What made these times special?


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Reflection Time



Looking back at this exercise, what stands out for each of you?


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What do you complain about the most?

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Discover the ‘Love Language’ you are. Maybe you are a few! Look for the ‘Love Language’ of the people you live with, work with, or play with.


Words of Acknowledgement


Be interested and engaging, put down the phone, close the computer and actively listen to each other, responding with words that acknowledge what is being said to you, or ask questions around acknowledgement.


Communicate around the dinner table or at the bench where you are all eating or congregating. Say something like:


What would you like to be acknowledged for today?


Wait for a response then acknowledge them with positive, caring words.


I noticed you tried (activity) today, well done. How did that feel?


What was the most exciting thing you achieved today?


Acts of Service


Doing something for someone can be rewarding for both parties, especially if you don’t need to be asked.


Some examples of serving your family:


• make a cup of tea for someone

• offer a lift in the car to save them walking

• do the dishes or

• unpack the dishwasher

• vacuum the carpet or

• wash the floor

• hang out the washing or

• fold the washing and put it away


Physical Touch


Hugging heart to heart is the most powerful way to exchange energy for someone who craves touch.


Or it could be as simple as holding hands when walking or sitting next to each other.


Maybe you would like to try giving a hand or foot massage. Even a light stroke of someone’s hair would be enough to show you love them.


Receiving Gifts


As a mum, I have always loved receiving handmade cards on special occasions.


Some other gifts that people love to receive are:


• Flowers

• Chocolates

• Picture in a photo frame

• Raw pasta necklace (hahaha)

• Books


Quality Time


Having the attention of a family member, whether you are the child, or the adult, is pretty much the same. Spending time together is precious, playing board games, going on an adventure as a family, sharing bedtime stories or even watching a movie together, can light up the life of a person whose love language is quality time.


Make sure you do not plan anything else while you are with this type of person, as they will immediately see through you giving them anything less than 100% attention.

[1] VAK (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic Learning Styles) [2] VAK (Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic Learning Styles)


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