Each of us has a dominant sense that gets used more than all the others. Be it touch, sight, taste, smell, or hearing—it is a part of our personality, affecting how we interact with the world.
So it makes sense that a person’s dominant sense will factor in to how they parent, says Priscilla Dunstan, a behavioural researcher and creator of the Dunstan Baby Language and author of Child Sense and Calm the Crying.
In an article she wrote for The Hamilton Spectator, Dunstan explains how each of the senses show themselves, particularly in relation to how a person parents their kids.
As Dunstan explains, the way our mothers interacted with us would be influenced by their natural inclination towards one sense over another. And just as they raised us in part due to their strongest sense, we’ll be doing it with our own kids too.
As the weekend for honouring moms fast approaches, we can think about how our dominant senses play into our relationships, especially with those closest to us.
An auditory mom has all her kid’s questions answered. There’s lots of talking after school to check in on how the entire day went and affectionate words pass easily from this mom’s lips. The auditory mom has a balanced, organized life and prefers one-on-one friendships, since lots of noise and people can become overwhelming. There may be pleas to use an inside voice and to quiet down if the kids get too rowdy and loud. If your own mom was more auditory, there’s likely still long phone calls between you and her, even though you’ve grown up and have your own kids now.
A taste and smell mom is kind, empathetic, and aware of everyone’s feelings. These moms put most of their energy into caring for others and can sometimes forget to take a little time to care for themselves as well. A taste and smell mom always makes sure her kids know they’re her first priority, which can at times feel burdensome for the object of that attention, but the kids know it comes from a good place. This mom remembers all the great, funny, wonderful memories and has kept mementos through every stage of childhood from drawings to report cards. These moms are able to adapt for each child, being what the kid needs most.
A tactile mom is big on hugs and cuddles. Touch is important for these moms, in showing their affection. These moms are tuned into the need for physical movement, encouraging physical activity and sports. Their parenting style is often more relaxed, more focused on activities rather than appearances. This mom loves to do activities right alongside her kids, like crafts at the big kitchen table or cuddle on the big comfy sofa for movie night. She’s got a loose organizational system, so her home is cozy, welcoming, and warm.
The visual mom knows that appearances hold importance in our society. Her focus on appearances comes from a place of love when her kids are involved. She wants to make sure they aren’t judged unfairly on appearance by our visual society. This mom desires to be the perfect mom and holds herself to high expectations. She reinforces good habits into her kids and has a well maintained, beautifully decorated home.