How knowing your brain color can make you a better parent

Move over Myers-Briggs and move in brain color.

Long Grove-based educator and author Sheila Glazov, who has simplified the 16 personality types of the Myers-Briggs personality test into four colors, says understanding your color can help improve your ability to communicate, collaborate and even parent.

Glazov believes a person’s brain color-Orange, Yellow, Green or Blue-represents a set of unique personality traits. For instance, someone who has a brain color “Yellow,” sees himself as dependable and responsible while someone who has “Orange” is more dynamic and spontaneous.

Chicago Parent recently sat down with Glazov to discuss her new book, What Color Is Your Brain? (Slack Incorporated), and why an “Orange” parent may not be the best disciplinarian.

Where did you get the idea for What Color Is Your Brain? How can parents and their children best use it?

The rationale behind (the book) is the Myers-Briggs test. I felt that with 16 personality types that Myers-Briggs outlines, it gets confusing for people. Plus, it doesn’t make an easy bridge for children. With my background as an educator, I wondered how I could make personality typing easy and applicable for kids, too. And colors are a stimulant, kids get it.

This approach gives adults and children a way to communicate with each other. It’s easy to talk to your children and tell them to “be yellow” (responsible.) Or that you need your kids to “be blue” (helpful and cooperative.) Tell them to “be green” and they’ll sit down and to do their homework. “Orange” is the fun and hands-on one. The colors become a shorthand language that keeps people from being accusatory.

At what age can you determine a child’s brain color and work with your kids to use it effectively?

Parents can tell what color their kids are at a very young age, even as early as 10 months. My grandson who’s 10 months old is sensitive and happy, he’s very “Blue.” My granddaughter is “Green,” but also shows signs of being very “Yellow,” very bossy and persnickety. Seventy to 75 percent of our kids are “Orange” and 30 to 45 percent of adults are “Yellow.” It’s a tough match when the “Yellow” parent makes the rules for the “Orange” child.

“Blue” parents are typically the helpful and nurturing ones who will be there to listen. The “Green” parent says “you can do that yourself.” The “Yellow” parent will shine in extracurricular activities because they make a schedule. The “Orange” parent is the fun one who lives in the moment, but is the one who will forget the keys and won’t discipline.

But the whole theory is that the colors will blend-I call it a “Brainbow”-and you can’t put yourself as a parent or child into a box or a slot. If you look at the colors, they are always blending into each other.

Let’s talk more about discipline. How can you use brain colors to effectively discipline our kids?

You have to discipline a different child color a different way. A “Yellow” child wants everything orderly and neat and if you want to discipline them you send them to sit where the mess is. To discipline a “Blue” child, you take something away like the phone. For an “Orange” child, a good way to discipline him is to keep him inside and take away the fun. The “Green” child, you’d say, no computer for you.

What about our partners? What do our Brain Colors say about our marriages, relationships and ourselves?

Usually in marriage you are attracted to the opposite, but over time that attraction can sometimes become an annoyance. The What Color is Your Brain program teaches acceptance, not tolerance. For instance, if you’re a “Yellow,” or responsible, woman paired with an “Orange,” or spontaneous, man, things may get complicated when you have kids because the woman wants her man to be more responsible. If you recognize each other’s attributes and abilities you’ll see where you may conflict with your partner and then appreciate your differences.

I think overall, understanding what color your brain is gives you a healthy approach to life-it’s a tool you can use to understand yourself. And if you can understand yourself first, it is easy to understand why someone else acts a certain way.

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