Research designed to determine the effect colour has on children has disclosed that colour does, indeed, effect the emotions and behaviour of children. As parents, we wish to do everything we can to help our children be successful in school and thrive as socially adept individuals. Understanding the affect certain colours have on behaviour and personality can help your child learn to control themselves and have appropriate responses socially and psychologically.
The Effect of Warm Colours on Personality
Generally speaking, warm colours present feelings of happiness and comfort, and create intimacy. Remember that bold shades of red, orange, and yellow can stimulate the mind and energize the body, beneficial for growth and development, but not effective settling down an over-active or energetic child.
It is best to use warm colours in moderation – as accents in decorating, accessories in clothes – and pair them with warm colours and cooler shades to create balance and decrease any negative effects.
Studies have shown that red excites and energizes the body and even increases the heart rate, blood pressure, and respiration. Some studies have also suggested that red increases athletic ability. However, red has been associated with the inability to focus, increased aggression, and headaches, even having a negative effective on academic performance.
Initially, pink has a calming effect. However, over time, it leads to anxiety and aggression. Hence, little girls love pink and older girls not so much.
Cheerful and bright yellow is associated with motivation and happiness. Bright shades of yellow stimulate memory and increase metabolism, while soft yellows promote concentration. Too much yellow has an effect similar to red – frustration and anger.
Like red and yellow, too much orange overstimulates. The positive attributes of orange are its ability to inspire interpersonal communication and put people at ease.
The Effect of Cool Colours on Personality
Cool colours – evoking images of nature, clear blue skies, and open water – have a calming effect on the body. However, overuse can evoke feeling of doom and gloom, so a child with a tendency towards depression should be exposed to these colours in moderation. If your child is acting cold and reserved, soften the pallet with creamy neutrals, a pale yellow, or rose.
Blue is exactly opposite red on the colour wheel, as is its effect on the personality. Blue is calming for the mind and body, and lowers blood pressure, heart rate, and respiration. Blue also decreases feelings of anxiety and aggression. Children who have trouble sleeping, tend to have tantrums, or experience other behavioural problems benefit from time in a blue environment. Physically, blue cools the body.
Purple – a combination of blue and red – combines stability and energy and is associated with wisdom and spirituality. Remember that purple is indicative of wealth and royalty.
Green naturally occurs in plants and has a serene and calming effect. Green soothes the body and mind, reduces anxiety, increases health and well-being, and promotes concentration. Studies indicate exposure to green may even increase reading ability. In fact, one study found that laying a transparent green sheet over text on a page improved student’s reading speed and comprehension.
While science can provide some useful generalizations, a child’s psychological responses are deeply personal. Watch your child to see how they respond to certain colours and eliminate those that cause hyperactivity, aggression, or other negative reactions. It is up to you as a parent to decide if there are certain colours you shouldn’t allow your child to wear.