Last week I wrote the first blog in a series related to intentional parenting. Having a focus, something to aim for will help us be intentional and more successful. Because it’s been a theme of our work at Celebrate Kids forever, let’s focus on children’s identity. They need to know who they are.

Breaking the broad concept of identity into categories makes it more manageable. And, it will help us make sure to raise children with a complete identity. They need to know themselves broad and deep. They have an intellectual identity, emotional identity, social identity, physical identity, spiritual identity, and an identity based on their character qualities. (Of course, so do we.)

Today I want you to think about the goals you have for your children’s intellectual identity. How would you like to describe them intellectually? How would you like them to describe themselves?

Depending on where you live, the new academic year may start in just a few weeks. Or perhaps you homeschool year round. In every case, it’s important to be thinking about the intellectual identity now so you can help them start the new year well.

In June it was my privilege to teach about a complete identity to a large number of 7th graders. In their small groups, I asked them to think of one high compliment they could receive related to their intellectual selves. (As you’ll see, some groups couldn’t limit themselves to just one idea.) Think about what you’d love your children to say and then read what these 13-year-olds listed:

  • Smart
  • Doing well in school
  • Musically gifted
  • Creative
  • Smart and creative
  • Smart
  • Learns quickly
  • Smart, talented, intelligent, artistic, unique, processing
  • History, bugs, science, robotics, music
  • Smart
  • Original thinker
  • Wise beyond their years
  • Smart
  • Focused
  • Motivated

What do you want to be true about your children intellectually? What’s your bull’s-eye? Do they know that? Would they agree with you? How must you parent for this to be their reality?

As we say at Celebrate Kids, wishing it so won’t make it so. We can’t just wish this identity for our children. Talking about it isn’t enough. That is, of course, helpful and wise. But, to assure they define themselves in the ways we value, you’ll have to guide them, walk with them, affirm them, correct them, help them with homework, study with them for their tests, and maybe more. Are you up to the task? If not, adjust your expectations and change your bull’s-eye or you and your children will be disappointed. Discouragement can set in.

Having a goal matters. Working to make it a reality is loving. Make a plan now. Your children will benefit.