How Gwen Stefani and children cope with dyslexia

Published December 15, 2020, 11:24 AM

by Paola Navarette

Singer and mom-of-three Gwen Stefani recently came to understand a new part of herself—and it helped explain the anxiety she has experienced over the years.

Speaking to Zane Lowe on his Apple Music “At Home With” series, Stefani revealed that it was only after her children began to struggle with reading that she learned she was dyslexic.

Gwen Stefani with sons Kingston, Apollo, and Zuma

“One thing that I’ve discovered through having kids is that I have dyslexia—everyone has things that happen and mine was that,” she told Lowe, referencing sons Kingston, Apollo, and Zuma. “And 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.”

While Stefani didn’t know she had a learning disability growing up, she is glad that her children are getting support. “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,” she said.

Recalling her own experience, Stefani said she “failed at school.” “I was a good girl. I didn’t do any bad stuff. It was just really hard for me to function in that square box of school that everybody was supposed to be understanding,” she said. 

Stefani with sons Kingston and Zuma. Photo courtesy of Gwen Stefani/Instagram

Stefani also connected the dyslexia to the anxiety she experienced when she first started out in No Doubt. “At that time, I had written that whole record not even knowing how to write a song and I had literally laid my entire life out for everyone to hear. And then I’m still in the band with Tony Kanal who I was so dependent on, because of probably my dyslexia,” she added. “I didn’t know any of this until now, but I think that I didn’t have any confidence in myself at the time.”