Gwen Stefani Reveals How Struggles of Dyslexia Shaped Her as a Parent

by Matthew Wilson

Gwen Stefani opens up about her struggles with dyslexia growing up and how that helped shaped her role as a mother. She didn’t realize she had the disorder until she had kids.

Stefani is the mother of three children Kinston, Zuma, and Apollo. She had her children with ex-husband Gavin Rossdale before meeting country singer Blake Shelton. Interacting with her children made Stefani realize she may have dyslexia, which affects one in five people.

“I think the one thing that I’ve discovered through having kids is that I have dyslexia,” Stefani told host Zane Lowe. “I feel like a lot of the problems that I have had or even decisions that I’ve made for myself stem from that. Because now the children obviously, it’s all genetic, they have some of those issues. But now they get all these benefits. They have these incredible teachers and schools, and they don’t have to have shame about it. They understand that their brain functions in a different way.”

Gwen Stefani Struggled in School

Growing up, Stefani said she failed at school because she struggled to understand her teachers. Instead, she put her efforts into music because she couldn’t make sense of her school work.

“I was a good girl. I didn’t do any bad stuff,” Stefani said. “It was just really hard for me to function in that square box of school that everybody was supposed to be understanding. And my brain didn’t work like that, it still doesn’t. But it works in different ways that are probably a gift.”

Still, she struggled when it came to musical composition as well. In the 1980s, Stefani rose to prominence as part of the band No Doubt. Her bandmates helped her with the music, and soon the singer blossomed into a 30-plus year career as a singer.

“I didn’t know any of this until now,” Stefani said. “But I think that I didn’t have any confidence in myself at the time, but when I would write a song, or I would get on stage, it just felt so right.”