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Monday, September 28, 2009

Identifying Your Child's Thinking Style

Is getting your kids organized a constant uphill battle? You might find this daily challenge less frustrating if you could identify your kid's thinking style. According to Lanna Nakone, organizing consultant and author of Every Child Has a Thinking Style, "You need to figure out how they learn, so you can create a system that supports them,"

Take this quiz to determine if your kid is a maintainer, harmonizer, innovator or prioritizer. Circle one answer for each question to determine how he/she learns.

1. When playing outside, he/she:
a. Moves quickly
b. Moves slowly
c. Motivates others
d. Plays by herself

2. His/her most noticeable personality trait is:
a. Being organized
b. Helping people
c. Being innovative
d. Being goal-oriented

3. With changes, he/she is:
a. Rigid
b. Worried
c. Flexible
d. Logical

4. With toys, he/she focuses on:
a. Following instructions
b. Relationships between toys
c. Elaborate fantasies about the toys
d. The function it can perform

5. When irritated, the best way to calm him/her down is by:
a. Explaining the rules and giving her a strategy to follow them
b. Empathizing then changing the subject
c. Showing a sense of humour and being informal and open-minded
d. Listen closely then give her sound, logical advice

6. His/her handwriting is:
a. Very legible
b. Attractive
c. Creative
d. Minimal

7. In her spare time, he/she likes to:
a. Tidy up
b. Hang out
c. Do crafts
d. Fix things

8. Others see him/her as:
a. A rule-follower
b. Friendly
c. A day dreamer
d. Competitive

9. A symbol for him/her is:
a. A compass
b. An ocean wave
c. A flying bird
d. A lightening bolt

10. He/She could be:
a. An inspector
b. A diplomat
c. An artist or scientist
d. A decision-maker

Circle the right answers, then tally each letter type. If your child scored:

Mostly As: Penguin (Maintainer)
Mostly Bs: Dog (Harmonizer)
Mostly Cs: Horse (Innovator)
Mostly Ds: Lion (Prioritizer)

If your child scored equally on two thinking styles, consider the following advice on both before deciding which he/she is most prone to.

Similar in character to penguins, maintainers love schedules and rules and are not particularly fussy - unless you suddenly need them ready to go, now! Kids who fall into this category are mostly meticulous, love being punctual and are always prepared. But they tend to play by the rules and can be controlling.

* Respect their need to be highly organised.
* Teach them early to tell time and make schedules they can follow
* Let them have a "Do Not Disturb" sign on their bedroom and avoid interrupting them.

Kids who are harmonizers tend to be the "most loyal, sensitive and helpful of the four thinking style", says Lanna. Unfortunately, because they focus on feelings rather than defined, solid concepts such as deadlines, harmonizers often run late. And they're clutter bugs.

* Try to be generous with praise and compliments.
* Make organising their clutter as fun as possible.
* Harmonizers respond to colours, so colour-code their storage boxes, hangers and homework folders.

The innovator tends to be a "big picture' thinker. Often very bright, they live in their heads more than their real world, don't care where all their stuff is kept, and are very easily distracted.

* Innovators often forget homework, so always give them a reminder list.
* Have two sets of school books - one for school and the other for home.
* Get simpler home furnishings, like hooks instead of hangers for your kid's clothes.

Charming, confident and rarely intimidated, the prioritizer has the take-charge-and-get-it-done sort of personality.But they loathe details and will try to delegate any activity they consider to be too mundane.
* Keep their homework area functional and neat. They resent having to search for pens or paper.
* Use logic, rather than emotion, to communicate and negotiate with lions:
* Give specific directions, schedules and instructions

source - The Malaysian Women's Weekly


  1. Hmmm, I have a lion & a horse!

  2. Great quiz1 I learned something about each of my kids. thanks.

  3. I didn't think much of this until I got to the end and it described my daughter to a t. Thanks! This was very helpful.

  4. My oldest is definitely a lion. :)

  5. Geez, I think I have three different types !!!

  6. This was so helpful. My youngest is an innovator and I had figured out some of the things, we've had a set of books at home and one at school since 6th grade, there were others that I hadn't thought about. Thanks so much for posting this.