Things we do: Colour Coding

I’m linking up with the Weekly Adoption Shout Out again. So, here’s another Thing We Do.
We have colour coded our children. Obviously, it started with Eldest and Middly. When they came home they were almost exactly the same size. They also fought over EVERYTHING. Really, everything, we had ‘Door Rules’ (actually, Door Rules and Shop Rules and Carpark Rules might be my next Things We Do post . . . ) to cope with the desperate desire to be first and prevent squashed fingers and heads.
So to make it easier for me to tell their clothes apart, and to settle the ‘who gets which cup’ row, I colour coded the children.
Eldest is Red, Middly is Blue. When Baby came along, he had to be Yellow, the only primary colour left.

Of course, it hasn’t settled every row! But, it has pretty much stopped any doubt over who owns things, or who gets which cup.
Sometimes we go a bit further and add in Parent Colours too. I am Purple and Husband is Green.
(Eldest made this hedgehog version of us, and painted them so people could easily tell which was which.)
To be honest, I can’t remember how the boys reacted when this began. I think it was ok because I began by colour coding new stuff, and they love new stuff! They were quite happy to get a drawful of new pants, and not all that bothered that they were all red or blue. Now, it’s fairly well known and my family try to buy the ‘right’ colours for the boys too.
It has settled a lot of arguments over the years. When we play board games, we don’t row about who gets which token. If the boys are given two (or three, now that we have Baby too) toys, we have a very easy way of selecting which should be whose. There is no trouble sorting clothes or toothbrushes or flannels. I do not miss the days of staring at socks and trying to remember which child wore them last.
Of course, we have some slightly complicated discussions around multicoloured items and it can throw everyone if someone gives a child something in the ‘wrong’ colour. But, generally, I think we are all happy with the system.
For me, the beauty of the colour coding is that it stops me being blamed! If Nana visits and has two toy cars, I don’t have to decide who gets which one, obviously the red one is Eldest’s and the blue one is Middly’s.
Just don’t ask my children to tell you their favourite colour. They are incredibly confused by the question. We don’t pick our colours, they simply are!


One thought on “Things we do: Colour Coding

  1. First thing that springs to my mind when reading this: the fights my boys used to have over the red glass they both loved (we only have one). By now they manage to share it… one day older one gets it, the other day younger one… and very often I just hide it on the shelf. 😉

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