Get Your Kids to Do What You Ask

We’ve all heard the suggestions of reward charts, punishments, routines, etc. And many of those things will get the results you’re after: Your kids following through with assigned tasks. However, I’m going to suggest an “out of the box” approach. I’m going to suggest that maybe your child isn’t retaining the information you give him/her. Each child learns differently, and as parents, we need to tap into the uniqueness of each of our children.

Get to know your child’s learning style, and use it help them internalize their tasks. The three most common learning styles are:

1. Visual Learners learn through seeing.
They like diagrams visual aids. They might look directly at your face when you talk, since they can see your lips moving. The Visual Learner wants to look at pictures when reading a book, and might often exclaim, “I can’t see!”

If you have a visual learner:

  • Hang charts and checklists with pictures on the wall with the tasks assigned to the child. Here is a good example that I created with Microsoft Word and some clip art.
  • When saying something really important, start with something like,”Read my lips…” Chances are, they will!
  • For older children, have them write things down in a planner or wall calendar.


2. Aural Learners learn through hearing. These kids are a classroom teacher’s dream, because they love listening to presentations, and absorb information as the teacher talks. You can usually ask your Aural-Learning child to do something, they remember it, and do it. But these children don’t necessarily follow through on charts, and when they read, they like to do it aloud… or better yet, have a parent read to them!

If you have an aural learner:

  • Try singing your instructions or saying them in a funny voice to get the child’s attention. Say it slow then fast, or in rhythm.
  • Make up a different “instrument” for each task: “When it’s time to take your bath, I’m going to bang this pot with a spoon!” When it’s time to brush your teeth, I’ll rub this sandpaper together”
  • Have each member of the family repeat the tasks individually. The aural learner will hear it several times and internalize. (this also helps for the Verbal Processor, later in the article)


3. Kinesthetic Learners learn by doing and touching.
These kids are the ones whose parents follow them around a store, saying, “Stop touching that! Put that down!” I know, because I have one! A kinesthetic learner doesn’t always fit into the mold of the traditional classroom, and sometimes need a creative approach to truly reach them. If they are forced to sit still and listen, chances are they are thinking,”i’m trapped i can’t move she’s making me sit here but all i wanna do is move…” And they will not hear you!

If you have a kinesthetic learner:

  • Have them pantomime the task before they do it. Make it fun by miming it slow, then fast, then say, GO!”
  • If you really need to talk for a while with your child, let them squeeze a stress ball, sit on an exercise ball, or jump on an exercise trampoline while listening. Explain their task while marching around the kitchen.


4. Verbal Processors are sort of a combination between Aural and Kinesthetic. I don’t know if it’s hearing themselves talk, or the actual moving of the muscles, but I know they talk- a lot. My middle daughter- while sitting in group, listening to the teacher- will instantly turn to her neighbor, and begin talking about the lesson. Yes, this is while the teacher is still talking! She really wants to process what she’s hearing verbally. Just ride in the car with her for a while, and you’ll see!

If you have a verbal processor:

  • You can probably guess: Have them repeat the directions back to you! Sing it! Shout it! Whisper it! Whatever works!

What types of learners do you have in your household? What works for you when you’re trying to get your kids to retain information?


About Sarah Pinnix

I'm a mom, blogger, vlogger, libertarian. I love Jesus, and my husband, too. Social Media Strategist for a Non-Profit (All statements here are solely my own)


  1. I had not heard about the verbal processer before. I definitely have one in my house. He repeats back to me what I am trying to tell him while I am still telling him and often finishs my sentences for me. He hates to have to wait when he has something to say. 🙂 I also have an aural little guy. If you don’t say it exactly as you mean something, he will clarify it with you. He is extremely detail oriented. Everything must be just so. This was a helpful article. Thanks for sharing it. Blessings.


  2. Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates says:

    This is very interesting. Now I’m wondering if my son is actually a kinesthetic learner. I’ll be trying to figure this out for sure!


  3. Amy: Yup! Sounds like you have one just like Princess!

    Lisa, once you identify the kinesthetic learner, you can understand so much of what they do!


  4. Sandy Toes says:

    Great informative posting! I have three kids and they all learn differently!
    -sandy toes


  5. I just got linked to your blog and I love it! I just recently entered the blogging world. I will be linking you on my site! check it out if you have time 🙂


  6. What an awesome post. As an adult, I’ve taken so many management and leadership classes. Very often a good portion of the class is spent learning about the various ways that adults take in information and how to present information in various formats so that everyone is able to absorb and understand. Excellent information you’ve shared.


  7. Deb - Mom of 3 Girls says:

    I really have no idea with Abby. Maybe she’s closest to a Verbal processor, but I’m not sure. I don’t think she’s visual or aural at any rate. I’ll have to think about that.

    Thanks – this was really interesting!


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