|*For the record, she gave herself bunny ears all on her own!|
Princess Buttercup charmed everyone from a young age with her big blue eyes and red hair. People stopped us in the grocery store, just to say talk to her (many times this was because she said “hello” to them first.) I did find it odd because I have 5 children, and they still stop just to talk to her, not the other 4. She is so vibrant and engaging and can carry a conversation with a doorknob. (She talks to inanimate objects often, but I think that has more to do with being an extrovert.)
Yellow Core Motivation: Fun
“Yellow are the fun lovers. Fun: the joy of living life in the moment, is what motivates and drives these people. They bring great gifts of enthusiasm and optimism and are generally charismatic, spontaneous, and sociable.” ~ www.Colorcode.com
My children all have responsibilities in our home and homeschool. All the other kids can be told plainly what it is they need to do. But Princess Buttercup is better motivated by the idea that it is FUN! If I simply say, “Please set the table.” She will throw a tantrum and cry that it’s too hard. But if I simply change my voice and ask her to set the table as if I’m asking her to please eat this lollipop, she will hop right to it and get it done in five minutes! Yes, yes it is that drastic. (Mostly because she is 7. But I think even adult Yellows would be motivated by a happy and fun attitude.)
Even if what they are doing is not fun, they will believe it is fun if it is presented that way. This is true for even the worst chores. She loves to mop (one of my least favorite jobs.) But she thinks I’m having fun because there is music playing while I’m mopping. For Yellows, it’s is matter of perspective. If they think it is fun, then they will be motivated to do it.
Make it Fun
In our homeschool, this realization has come in handy. (Even though it tires me out to be “fun.” I am a White personality and “boring” suites me just fine.) After much trial and error, mostly error, none of the following work to motivate my Yellow child to get her school work done: intensity, bossing, begging, stern looks, or even staying seriously focused no matter what is happening. I must keep it light. She needs happy encouragement, spunkiness while reading three letter words, delight in counting on our fingers. If I slip into frumpy irritation, she is right there with me and wants to quit.
And most importantly, about every 8 minutes my little Yellow needs a “commercial break.” It is that special moment when her head is about to explode because she will realize any second that what we are doing is not FUN. But before she hits that wall, I break out the silliness. I had originally thought that if I let silliness start during Language Arts, that I would lose her attention, she’d be off and never return. In fact, the opposite is true. A short commercial break of a tickle or two, a silly face, snorting like a pig, acting out the sentence she just read, singing an addition problem or any such weirdness will break the building frustration and she will be able to focus for another 8 minutes. Interestingly, this is the same with adult Yellows. (But it’s more like every 15-20 minutes. Ask my dad.)
I love my Yellow Princess Buttercup. She is worth the extra effort for me to step outside my comfort zone and speak her weird, fun language. I get what I want (completed school work) and she gets what she needs (fun.) And we live happily ever after.