WT 145: Little Miss Sunshine – Parenting Your Yellow Child

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

Listen : Other Wire Talk episodes on personality: 103121132136

Read: Personality Plus by Florence Litteaur

Watch: Being a Student Of Your Child

Study: I Said This, You Heard That by Kathleen Edelman

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Question 1: I have a highly sensitive yellow 3yo girl with middle-child syndrome (6yo and 1yo siblings). I’m an introverted red. She E X H A U S T S me. Car rides are the worst because she talks the whole time JUST FOR THE SAKE OF MAKING NOISE AND WE ARE ALL TRAPPED  Demanding everyone’s attention all. the. time. How can I be kind and loving and at the same time get her to be quiet for a little while?!

Karen’s Answer: I love this!  and I’m yellow! I used to play music in the car, and tell Kelsey, when the music is playing let’s just listen to the songs, and not talk.  Of course, I played children’s music, but it was worth listening to that music over her talking non stop. Here is the other thing with yellows, they can NEVER get too much attention.  So, give them what you can and then tell them to go entertain themselves. I am a yellow and I was the only yellow in my family growing up.  My mom is Green and my dad a Red. Many times my mom would tell me, “children should be seen and not heard”. But, the deal is, she never squashed my “yellow”.  It still shined through! Yellow’s have to learn the world does not always revolve around them all the time. That is okay. Keep being a student of your child, but also what will work for them and YOU.


Question 2:  I’m exhausted trying to parent my “yellow” 13 year old daughter, who never lacks an opinion and argues with me constantly. I can use any input or advice as I am weary. She is my third child after two boys, both of which have moved out. She can be a delight, but that can change on a dime and I don’t know if I am coming or going. I am a green. I work outside the home four days a week, my husband works from home so she is with him most of the week, she homeschools, and she likes his more hands off approach to parenting.

Karen’s Answer:  I understand exactly what you are saying with a 13 year old Yellow.  You are dealing with her temperament, but also hormones, which can be tricky to say the least.  Here are my thoughts: Pick your battles. I wouldn’t “argue” over every little thing with her, it is exhausting and to be honest, it is not going to get you anywhere.  Save your arguments for the BIG things.  Get on the same page with your husband, and if he can handle her a little better, let him do it, but you need to be on the same page as he is while he is guiding her. My husband, Greg, works better with my Red children and I handle the Blue and the Green children better.  That is okay, as long as Greg and I are on the same page.  I would tell your daughter that you are willing to “talk” with her about her opinions, but the arguing is going to stop. She must be respectful when talking with you.  

  • Keep in mind the needs of a yellow:

    • Appreciation

    • Affection

    • Approval

    • Attention

I know Yellow’s can be exhausting (I am one) but if you keep the four A’s in mind while you are parenting them it will help! Decide with your husband what are the bigger issues that you both agree are worth fighting over.  

Question 3: I am pretty sure my 3 year old is a yellow. She thrives on attention and loves talking to everyone. She always gravitates towards people who are willing to be as excited and chatty as she is. She is also very strong willed and I am unsure how best to discipline her. Everyone always says to be careful not to crush her spirit because she is so charming but at the same time if we aren’t strict she runs the place. She is very dramatic, so discipline always comes a big, sobby meltdown. Her sadness makes me second guess how I discipline her. My husband thinks she is just playing me. But I’m so torn. I’ve tried spanking and time-outs and neither seem to work well. Do Yellows typically respond to a certain discipline over others? Also, instead of only controlling with charm she also controls with being sad – which to outsiders is almost a form of charm because they automatically feel bad for her and do what she wants. Is that still something a Yellow would do?

Karen’s Answer:  I have to agree with your husband that she is 100% playing you.  I say that because I am a yellow.  Yellows control by charm!  Yellows can also be big manipulators, once again, I know from experience.  I have found that making a yellow go to their room and be by themselves is pure torture, they hate it.  So that would be my go -to discipline for her. My parents would give me a spanking and that worked pretty well too, but the main thing is not to let them charm their way out of discipline. Just like any other temperament, yellows need discipline, almost more so, because they can feel like the rules don’t always apply to them.  Also, you would be hard pressed to crush a yellow’s spirit.  They are pretty full of themselves. Final answer, yes a yellow would want you to feel sorry for her because then you will do what she wants you to do. Be tough! You got this! Listen to your husband 


Question 4: My yellow daughter needs SO. MUCH. ATTENTION. All the time. I have other kids to raise! She seems like she’ll do anything for a laugh or approval. I want to make sure she knows her worth is not based on how charming she is. How can I instill this in her at an early age?

Karen’s Answer: She will do anything for approval, that is one of her four needs.  You can still guide her and teach her.  Yellows also want people to like them, and I know I as a child, never wanted to disappoint my parents so even though I was always wanting attention, I was a good kid because I didn’t want to upset my parents. Kelsey isn’t yellow, but she was sort of this way, always wanting attention.  I gave her as much as I could but then had to let her figure it out for herself.  They have to learn that they can’t always be the center of attention. Keep in mind everything in moderation.


Question 5: My oldest daughter is 5 and is yellow yellow yellow!! She is outgoing, silly and always finds something fun in any situation. I love that about her, but as a more serious blue, I have a hard time understanding her sometimes. I know this is her God given personality, but how can I help her learn that she has to balance fun and responsibilities/respect? For example, at school, she will do something that is “fun” but doesn’t fall in line with what the teacher has instructed. That is SO the opposite of me. Is there anything I can do to motivate her to think her choices through vs just jumping to the fun? I know she’s still young so is this not necessarily a yellow thing but more of an age thing? Since you are a yellow, any insight is appreciated! Thank you!

Karen’s Answer: Honestly, she will NEVER be like you, and will never truly understand your blue world.  I’m 54 and am just starting to get it.  I was exactly like her.  Yellows are impulsive, they almost can’t help it.  That can be a good thing, and a bad thing, but she will have to learn it in life for herself.  You can tell her, but life’s lessons will be what teaches her. Also, with yellows, rules are just mere suggestions, I’m not saying that is good, just saying that is what they believe.  Usually they can charm their way out of getting in trouble. I would keep being her parent, but realizing she will always see the glass half full, being impulsive, and will look for fun in everything she does. Realize you are opposite, but God placed you as her mom, to help guide her.  The main thing in my opinion with a Blue/Yellow combo is that the Blue doesn’t make the Yellow feel silly or stupid.  That will hurt the Yellow in the long run. She wants your approval, and realize when she is trying, because even on her “best” day, she will never be to the standards of a Blue.  That is okay, because also on her best day, she can conquer the world with one smile!


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