How to Parent Children with Strong Red Personality Tendencies

by Dawn Billings, founder of RelationshipHelp.com

Children with Strong Red Personality Tendencies:

From a young age children with strong red personality tendencies like to take charge. As children they are often bossy and argumentative. They develop strong opinions at a very early age. Other children are drawn to play with them although they are known for creating the rules to the games they allow others to play. They have a tendency to be more exclusive by nature. Even as children on the playground, children with red color personality tendencies as the top of their primary colors personality color blend can be characterized by telling other children “It’s their way or you can’t play.” They are often considered strong-willed, forceful and determined. They can also be very stubborn.

They can be rebellious in school. (Some call it stubborn). It is difficult for them to deal with authority because they often believe they should be the one in control. These children can be simultaneously respected for their capabilities and resented for the obnoxious, arrogant conviction that accompanies their capabilities and ideas. They don’t easily back down and in their extremes they can be overly aggressive and even behave as bullies.


Children with strong red personality tendencies desperately need to learn empathy and emotionally intelligent skills. Emotional intelligence does not come easy to people with red color personality tendencies. Developing emotionally intelligent skills to help them overcome their natural tendencies to be arrogant and controlling will help them with relating to, and working with people throughout their life.


It is very important for the parent of a child with very strong red tendencies to teach these children respect, honor and appreciation. They expect to be respected and honored but are not good at respecting and honoring others. It is imperative that a child with red color personality tendencies be given opportunities to do good things for others. Helping them to focus on giving back to his/her family, community, church, school or world is a very helpful strategy. They will probably want to lead the giving back effort and that is okay, but make sure they learn the importance of doing good things for others and their world.

A great resource for helping children learn and understand emotional intelligence are the many books by Daniel Goleman that focus on Emotional Intelligence and my book, Entitled to Fail, Endowed to Succeed: America’s Journey Back to Greatness, and What Have You Got to Give, written by my son Corbin when he was thirteen. Both of which you can order off my website www.DawnBillings.com.


All power struggles must be handled with love and respect, but you must have strong and solid boundaries with a child with strong red personality tendencies or they will attempt to run over you. These children have strong wills and are determined children who will push the envelope. It is up to you as a parent to be strong, solid, unmovable but also loving. This strong but loving modeling is imperative for children with red personality tendencies and allows them to develop respect for you. They respect strength and think that too much kind-heartedness is a weakness. Teach them to value kindness and tenderness, they are going to need that.


A child with strong red personality tendencies needs to be directed, guided and instructed in the development of their more green oriented personality strengths, the complimentary color of red on the Primary Colors Personality Color Wheel. This is critical in order for children with strong red personality tendencies to learn to relate well in relationships with others. Remember to get them involved in volunteer work at an early age. It will give them an opportunity to take charge and lead, while giving their time and energies to a cause larger than themselves. Besides the fact that they will want to take control, it will be very good for them, and the charity they are working to support.


How to Effectively Parent a Child with Strong Red Personality Tendencies:

  • Be direct, firm, respectful and loving in your communication with them. Do not allow them to push you in the direction they want you to go, unless it is the direction you were wanting to go.

  • Do not force them—lead them. They need this example of good leadership as children to enhance their ability to lead effectively and powerfully in their futures. After all they are natural born leaders. Otherwise their natural tendency to force their way, can dominate their lives and relationships and impact them negatively.

  • Don’t ARGUE with them. Convince them with your actions. Tell them that you are the parent and it is your job to love and lead them in the right direction and that you intend to succeed, therefore you will have important boundaries that you will adhere to strongly because you love them strongly. Be the example you want them to live up to.

  • Another great recommendation: Read Dr. Foster Cline and Jim Fay’s Parenting With Love and Logic books, and I highly recommend that you order Greatness and Children: Learn the Rules, and Entitled to Fail, Endowed to Succeed: America’s Journey Back to Greatness by calling 918-605-1492.

  • Don’t compete with them. They love to compete, but don't set yourself up as a challenge to win. Instead encourage their competitive spirits while teaching them that competition and winning are not the end goal. They will want to compete with you and prove they can beat you. Do play games with them just for the fun, and not just to win. Don't let them win. Part of their development is to persist until they develop the skills they need to win on their own merit.

  • Teach them collaboration and cooperation. Teach them mutual benefit and concepts of a four win concept to compensate for their natural win-lose competitive natures. In four-wins, they want to win, they want the person they are collaborating with to win, they want the community or world to win, and they want God to look upon the action as a good and valuable win as well.

  • Model strong, unwavering respect. The key word in that statement is ‘strong’. These children respect strength, but under no circumstances can you allow them to bully others.

  • Be firm, but loving and empathetic when disciplining them. Restate the facts of why the punishment is necessary to make them stronger, wiser leaders and always communicate in a clear concise way. Use force as a last resort with children with strong red color personality tendencies. Their natures are forceful enough and they need to learn compassion over control. Communicate with empathy and love, but not with weakness. Red personalities need to see a clear, strong model of what it means to have empathy in order for others to feel loved.

  • Don’t fall apart and get very emotional when you are attempting to communicate your feelings. Once they sense your vulnerability it stimulates their desire for power.

  • Remain strong, but loving; clear and concise, but kind. Maintain your own identity. Follow through with every promised disciplinary action. Every promised action! This consistency is how they build their trust in you.

  • Be your word. Do what you promised to do, by when you promised to do it. Connect the concept of integrity and with being a winner in life. Remember, children with strong red color personality tendencies love to win.

  • Continue to admire the driven, competitive nature of red color tendencies without fueling it into a bullying frenzy. Do not allow them to run over you or their friends, or bully the weaker children or less fortunate. I know I am repeating myself here, but this is extremely important for their future success as a spouse and parent.

  • Set clear respectful boundaries about what behaviors you will continue to respect and reward, and those you will not respect or tolerate. Talk almost with a whisper. Make them lean in to hear you. Allow your voice is soft, make sure your statements are strong and consistent with your core and unwavering beliefs and values.

  • Remember, children with strong red personality tendencies admire strength and firmness, but it is imperative that you model strength that values love and compassion because children with strong red personality tendencies need to learn how to perceive and experience love and compassion as strengths instead of weaknesses.

Dawn Billings is the inventor of the patented parenting tool for toddlers called Capables. Dawn is the executive director of the RelationshipHelpResort.com in Arizona where she hosts private couples therapy retreats to help strengthen and heal broken relationships. Dawn is the founder of RelationshipHelp.com and creator of the comprehensive ONLINE RelationshipHelpAtHome.com. Dawn is also the author and architect of the Primary Colors Relationship Personality Tests and Insight Tools licensed and used widely by relationship experts around the nation.