Starting School and Why Kids Approach It So Differently. It’s All About their Colors



Book fees paid – check.

Lunch account filled – check.

Parking pass bought – check.

I just hit send on the school’s website to pay my daughters fees, so let the 2018-2019 school year begin. But wait, Who stole my summer !?!

I openly confess I am obsessed with summer. I love everything about it. Relaxed schedules, family vacations, pool time, salty hair and sandy toes – SIGN ME UP! The ubiquitous July email from the school district reminding me that I have responsibilities and obligations bearing down on me is always a rude awakening. I can feel the back to school noose tighten and I admit I moved that email into a folder the instant I saw the sender address. As an Orange-Green procrastination is my go to move. To be honest, I surfed both FB and Pinterest as I avoided even writing this post, that’s how serious I am about summer.

As a personality expert and coach I am well aware half of you are slightly scandalized by my fast and loose approach to responsibility. (… Golds) Remember the point in better understanding the Color types is learning that we all handle changes and stress differently. What excites one person can fill another person with dread. Last August I posted about how parents handle back to school differently based on how they are hard wired, if you missed it check it out here Back to School Blog Post

This year I’m approaching the same topic but from the childrens POV. Why do some kiddos get over the moon excited to hit Target and load the cart with binders and markers, while others drag their feet and moan as you try to squeeze them into last years jeans? Why do some children lose sleep anxiously awaiting the big day, while others act like nothing is happening until the night before and then panic because they have not completed their summer reading. It all has to do with their Colors.

Gold children and teens, like their adult counterparts, are typically well organized as they head into the last few weeks of summer. Your Gold has selected their first day outfit, checked and rechecked their supply list, cleaned and loaded their backpack several times and that summer reading assignment I referred to earlier, they completed it in June. Young Golds exude a sense of responsibility and authority during the last few weeks of summer since preparation and organization is their domain. They are at peace as they make lists and check them off. However, most Golds struggle with hidden anxiety as they transition through periods of change. You will know your Gold is anxious and experiencing stress if they become bossy, controlling, or overly critical of their friends and family during the month of August. Use this as an opportunity to perfect your Counselor Talk skills with your Gold. This Skill Talk builds trust and Golds take the longest of any color type to build trust with. Understanding what their anxiety triggers are and guiding them through them will make you their trusted alli!

Orange children and teens are a delightful enigma. Depending on the variety of Orange you are raising yours could be enthusiastically awaiting the first day of school or dreading it. They might be excited to see their friends again or to rejoin their favorite sports team/club or they might be lurking in your basement hiding out praying their summer freedom never comes to an end. For some Oranges, generally speaking Extroverted Oranges, the new school year rewards them with specific freedoms only found outside of their home. Whether it’s a needed break from their siblings or getting to attend fun school activities the Extroverted Orange can usually find something about the school year to look forward to. For other Oranges, often Introverted Oranges, the friends and activities are great but at what cost? Waking up early, sticking to study schedules and completing piles of homework is enough to make any Orange dread August. However, all Oranges will experience some level of stress in August as their freedom disappears and they are forced back into a routine. You will know your Orange is stressed when they avoid or procrastinate completing tasks, appear sneaky, try to negotiate out of situations, or when they become demanding. Use Cheer Talk liberally to help boost your Orange’s motivation and focus. Cheer Talk increases feelings of gratitude and your Orange is staring down a year of being told they are noisy, wiggly, and unfocused. They desperately need to know how much you love and appreciate them for who they are before they leave your house to start a new year. Using Cheer Talk will help reverse an Oranges negative mindset and put them on a better course.

Blue children and teens are a bit of a mixed group, as well. Although Blues are generally enthusiastic about school and the learning process they also LOVE being with their family, especially when they are young. Your young Blue will tell you they are excited to start back to school but quickly follow that statement with a list of everyone they will miss during their school day. Mom, Dad, siblings, the dog, their friend down the street, grandma, their hamster, their favorite toy … the list goes on and on. Blues are creatures of comfort and nothing makes you comfy like your own home. However, tween/teen Blues are typically quite cheerful about returning to school because they see it as an extended social opportunity. To get right to the point, tween/teen Blues enjoy being with their friends more than any other first color type. Blues thread people into their life and hold them close to their heart and this process begins during their teen/tween years. They will experience the greatest levels of stress in August when there are relationship situations. Did all of their friends make it into the same homeroom except one person? Is their little brother upset because he is the only sibling left at home this year? Are they feeling insecure about where they fit into their friend group after a long summer or are they worried about making friends at a new school? You will know your Blue is stressed when they become overly dramatic, cry frequently for no apparent reason, have sleeping issues or become clingy. Use a combination of Counselor Talk coupled with Coach Talk in all of these situations to open up communication, build trust, and help your Blue make good choices when dealing with difficult relationship issues.   

Green children and teens are usually excited to learn therefore, more than any other first color type Greens look forward to a new school year for the educational component. While Greens are often excited about the wealth of information laid out ahead of them they are simultaneously dreading dealing with people issues. Young Greens typically worry about getting a teacher they don’t like or being separated from their best buddy while Green teens/tweens worry about having to deal with stupid people. Now don’t get me wrong, Greens have tremendous patience for people with lowered intellectual abilities and often take on the role of tutor to help struggling students. When I say stupid people I mean their peers who are attention seeking, start drama, act fake, and disrupt the learning process. Greens have NO patience for people who have the ability to do better and choose not to. If you’re wondering what qualifies as a stupid person ask a Green in your life and they will rattle off a list of qualities so fast it sounds like they are reading something printed on their brain. You will know your Green is stressed when they become overly critical and act like a know-it-all or when they become aloof, detached, and flighty. Jump straight into action with Coach Talk to guide your Green and follow it up with Counselor Talk done late in the evening once they are settled in bed. Greens need their brain to slow down before they can tackle people problems or emotional stress and about the only time a Green’s brain slows down is right before they sleep. You will find your best Counselor Talk session are done after 8 pm.  

So I hope that this small summary of each kid’s color helps better understand why some kiddos get over the moon excited to for school, while others drag their feet and moan as you prepare for the school year. It all has to do with their Colors.

Note* The Talks suggested in this blog post include Counselor Talk, Cheer Talk, and Coach Talk are 3 of the 4 Communication skills that we teach in our Ask-B-Do Parenting approach found in our ColorWorks Basic Course. Along with understanding the colors or personality types, this Ask-Be-Do program can change a child’s behavior in a matter minutes. Learn more at


Written By: Rebecca Bockhart


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