What It’s Like to Raise a Redhead Child


redhead child

In honor of Saint Patrick’s Day and my Irish heritage let’s talk redheads and more specifically what it’s like to raise a redhead child.

Redheads run in our family. My brother has red hair, my cousin has red hair and my husband’s sister too. But we were still surprised when our first born’s hair began to grow out and it was a beautiful red color. Molly looks exactly like my husband…there is no mistaking that they share DNA, and with that comes very intense dark brown eyes and a medium skin tone adorned with cute little freckles. And then that long, pretty, wild red hair. We get comments on it all the time, everywhere we go. I absolutely love it and can not imagine her without it. But with a redhead child comes great responsibility. And a lot of patience. Redheads are not for the faint of heart.

Having red hair is a rare occurrence, only happening in around 1 to 2 percent of the population and it’s actually a chromosome mutation that causes it. Mutation is a key word here and should set off some alarm bells. I am here to tell you all, the fiery and loud personality and temperament are not a joke. It is real people. But we are surviving (most days). Here are a few things that might be happening in my house on any given day.

  1. Socks. Our socks do not feel right on our feet- this happens almost every single morning. Molly cannot handle the way her socks feel when she puts shoes on. We take them off and put them back on about 10 million times and I say a little prayer each time that this time they feel right and we can go on about our day. Oh! And don’t forget the extra sass exchange as she boldly declares that she will fix her socks herself, my help is not needed!
  2. Options. Life is all about options these days. From the outfit we pick out to the shade of crayon that is perfect for My Little Pony’s hair in her coloring book. No decision can be made unless at least three options are presented. And then half the time she just says, “you decide Mom, I don’t know what to pick.” Just grab a shirt and pick up that pink crayon!
  3. Drama. Everything is SO dramatic. The tiny little speck on her hand? Oh that’s a boo-boo and it must be treated by the triage team because it’s a serious injury. That small marker stain on her shirt that you can only see when you squint your eyes and look extra hard? Outfit ruined! We must get a new shirt, after reviewing our 3 options of course. Nothing in my house is a simple exchange…the drama just seeps out of her everywhere she goes and everything she does.
  4. The Tantrum. Oh my, the tantrum. This is where I am surprised that I still have my sanity at all. I find myself being very strategic about what I say and do around her for fear of a total meltdown. And when I say meltdown I mean world is ending, drop to the floor flopping like a fish out of water and screeching in the highest pitch you have ever heard. Redheads don’t play around y’all. So if we are hanging out, just prepare yourself…the tantrum will happen and it won’t be pretty.
  5. Love. This girl loves so hard. In between the options and the tantrums and the drama are the sweetest moments. She has a natural desire to take care of people (and by people I mean all of her baby dolls and barbies) and she will sprint across the room to tackle you in kisses and hugs. She says hi to everyone she sees and will most likely compliment them on their outfit and shoes. If a friend is sad, she is the first one to try and cheer them up. She says “honey” as a term of endearment to her sister and friends. And she is the best couch cuddler around. 

Redheads are a different breed. I should have known what was coming when she was a colicky baby, and I am terrified of the teenage years, but with all its struggles and pure exhaustion I wouldn’t have her any other way. I will take that beautiful bright red hair and the crazy personality that comes along with it any day. She is strong, confident and smart and I know her future is very bright! I just might need an extra glass of wine after bedtime.

Pro tip – if you have one of these so called redheads, sneak in to their room after they are asleep and get a good look. It’s the only time she is calm and still and peaceful.

Any other redhead Mommas out there? Anybody else share in my daily adventures? Let’s swap war stories!



**This post was originally published on March 15, 2016.


  1. This describes my daughter perfectly. I wasn’t sure if it was a girl thing or the hair. (4th child/first girl). lol

  2. Wow this article could have been written by myself to describe my oldest daughter, that’s crazy! I didn’t know that this was a an actual chromosome that did this! I just thought between myself and her father both having ADD and ADHD she was just a little more high maintenance should I say! Couldn’t love my girl anymore but she drives me insane on a good day lol

  3. I’m a redheaded Mom of two wonderful redheaded daughters. Hold on to your hats-here goes on how we’re different:

    * The sock thing is real- can’t stand that stupid stitch line over my toes-ugh! My oldest daughter will wear no socks even in the snow. If it’s below zero she’ll wear toe socks on occasion. She actually dances barefoot in the snow each winter!

    * We feel everything more intensely or not at all. Our pain/pleasure center of the brain is just ‘different’ than others. Its quirky, to say the least, even for us. Doctors have problems getting pain killers and anesthesia right for us and it can be dangerous. My
    BP has gone so low during out-patient surgery they thought they had lost me. It’s crazy!!

    *We make our own Vitamin D, but not in large doses, so we still need sunshine but not during 10 am – 3 pm intense time, or we burn like crazy, especially if we have blue, grey or green eyes.

    * Red heads bleed more if cut or bruised. Mystery bruises are just a thing…..you get used to it.

    * Emotions run the gambit in intensity and swiftness- happy, to sad, to giggly,to angry, all in a matter of moments. Grudges last the longest, but so does Love, so not all is lost.
    Just don’t betray a redhead-we never forget and it will take the betrayer many years to regain any kind of real trust from us-if ever!

    *ADHD tends to be more common in redheads.

    *We tire of the curious questions-” Do you really have a temper?” or “Is that your real hair color?” to other more personal questions that happen around puberty and beyond, from strangers. Turning the question back to the stranger usually helps neutralize their curiosity at least somewhat.

    Hope this helps to understand us just a bit better?! Blessings to all!!!

  4. Is this “red-haired” temperament only for girls? I have a red-headed husband and the only trait that comes close to describing him is the low impact of pain killers and anesthesia–it’s almost impossible to knock him out.

  5. I’m a quiet and mild mannered redhead. I grew up a smidge fiestier than my siblings, but my dad (not a ginger) is fiesty, so all of us kinda picked it up. I feel the fire every now and then, but thats when someone has been wronged. I’ve never had a flare for drama (except needles). I’ve never been one to throw tantrums or be picky. This article probably describes some redheads, but by far not all. I hope you treat them like normal kids (because that’s what they are, they’ll mold to your expectations of them) and only start giving them affectionate crap about the red locks when they are confident in themselves and when they are sure that you love everything about them from the inside. You can save yourself and your child a lot of trouble if you treat them like normal human kids. All kids throw fits, about half of them are neat freaks, the others are sloppy joes. Most are picky, you’re lucky to have an open minded one, but they happen. A lot of what you described can be attributed to a child with any hair color. The red hair is a phenotype, not a personality or character. This article puzzled me, a lot.

  6. Red hair has nothing to do with her personality. Im red headed, 58 ys old now and was always well mannered child. , very artistic and shy. Your stereo typing a red head is wrong. We are not all that you say…far from it.

  7. Wow I wonder if the socks thing is genetic with red heads! My son is a red head and ever since he was a baby he WILL NOT sleep with the blanket covering his feet! Socks and shoes are always a battle and sandals are usually the compromise lol. I love all of the compliments he gets everywhere we go about his hair, but the fiery temper I have yet to see. I’m super mellow so I think he got the best combo of gorgeous locks with the mild sensitive temperament 🙂

  8. Me and my husband both have dark brown hair but all three of our kids have red hair. My mom and all her siblings have red hair, my dads brother, and my husbands cousin. 🥴


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