4 Keys to Genius Parenting

Genius Girl in red glasses

by Janet Kellogg

How often does your child give you “that look”? You know . . . the look that says, “Do you have any idea what you are doing right now?!” I often have to remind myself that whatever their ages, whatever my age, whatever parenting stage we are in with each of our kids, we are all experiencing these situations for the first time! I can’t expect myself to make any genius moves as a parent when I’m navigating uncharted waters . . . can I? Answer: Oh yes I can. And so can you. Genius parenting does not come from actually being an intellectual Einstein. Rather, it’s the result of four genius actions that ANY loving parent can start today!

Genius Parenting Move #1: Become a Perpetual Student of Inner Design

Both you and your child are designed with drives and preferences that motivate you and affect your ways of thinking, feeling and acting. Your child’s drives and preferences may be very different from yours. Each of these vastly different designs are quite sophisticated in their makeup and rely heavily on the right mix of emotional intelligence and sound logic to function properly. If that sounds like a high-performance engine for which you need an “Operating Manual” of sorts, you’d be very close to appreciating the complexity of the being you are trying to parent every day! Without learning how to successfully motivate and guide this little person into functioning the way they are designed to, your genius will never see the light of day.

Enroll in “ { Your Child’s Name} School” today!

Genius Parenting Move #2: Focus on Beliefs, Rather than Behavior

By parenting according to your child’s design, rather than with one-size-fits-all, cookie-cutter methods, we have one major objective: POSITIVE CHANGE. Belief drives the human system. We never do anything unless we believe we should do it. So, both helpful behavior and unhelpful behavior stem from belief. A parenting genius such as yourself can create a positive, helpful belief system that builds and encourages your child, pointing their way to success, fulfillment and their highest potential.

Don’t get me wrong, bad behavior must be corrected and making excuses for it is not appropriate or helpful. But, just like adults, kids do what they do because of what they believe. So, if we want positive behavior, we must make sure our kids have a positive belief system.

Creating positive beliefs or changing negative beliefs is not usually a quick fix. It’s SO tempting to look for that, isn’t it? But if you want the long-term fix to undesirable behavior, please keep reading. Decide that your child’s beliefs are your priority and focus, rather than making it a goal that you are never publicly embarrassed.

Here are some helpful notes, lifted from the pages of I’m a Keeper by Dr. Ray W. Lincoln:

  • Address behavior for the short term and beliefs for the long term.
    If you need an immediate change, attempt to change the behavior by distracting the child and helping the child focus on something other than what is causing the unacceptable behavior. This approach will make an immediate change.
  • Make it your priority to create repeated desirable behavior.
    To achieve this, teach and create desirable beliefs and ferret out undesirable ones. If you do, you will become a “super” parent, focused on strengths and beliefs. Remember, beliefs create patterns for the long term.
  • Parents usually look for paths to immediate peace.
    The stress of parenting drives them to this. However, if all you do in your parenting is put out fires, you will never plan for the development of “firebreaks” and other preventive measures. Parent constantly for the long term and you will parent your child more successfully and reduce your stress in the process.

This book is foundational and I highly suggest you grab a copy. Many other parenting resources are found here.


Genius Parenting Move #3: Build Your Child’s Healthy Self-Image

Self-image is basically the way we see and think about ourselves. Every genius parent knows this fact: YOUR CHILD CANNOT OUTPERFORM THEIR SELF-IMAGE. In short, the quality of your child’s self-image affects the quality of their thinking and the quality of their choices.

If you’ve read any other posts I’ve written on this topic lately, you’ll recall that there’s really only one way for you or your child to obtain a healthy self-image, and to keep it healthy.

The wonderful part of parenting your child according to their design is the assurance you have that all along the way, you have opportunities to lift their self-image. Regardless of whether you are in correction mode, working to instill healthy beliefs, or developing their innate inner strengths, you are following the motivations and drives of their design. Therefore, you are building up their self-image. Genius!


Genius Parenting Move #4: Develop Your Child’s Inner Strengths

One of the first things to understand about inner strengths is their origin. We are born with them. We don’t choose them or even make them our strengths by repeated practice. We can, however, develop or strengthen them with practice, but only if they are part of us in the first place. We can call them drives, or strengths, or urges, but we mean the same thing. These strengths give fundamental direction and purpose to our lives. When we use them we are fulfilled. When we don’t, we are empty and depressed. We can even feel guilty at times.

Because strengths drive us, they must have a goal and be driving us to a destination. Strengths equip us and empower us to be who we are intended to be. For more on the development of your child’s inner strengths:


Genius Parenting in a Nutshell

DO THIS: Know your child’s inner strengths and you’ll know a lot about their purpose and the ingredients to their success.

DO THIS: Treat the development of your child’s strengths as your first priority and avoid the mistake of confusing good habits learned from others with the innate strengths of your own child.

AND PLEASE DON’T DO THIS: Avoid the damage to your child’s self-image by trying to remake them into YOUR own image.

Proverbs 22:6 says it best: 

“Train up a child in the way HE (or SHE) should go, and when he is old, he will not depart
from it.”

Understanding Your Child Course logoBe a Genius and Parent by Design

Understanding your child’s inner design results in parenting that:

  • Creates a stronger relationship with your children based on true appreciation for the differences between you
  • Builds up a healthy, depression-resistant self-image in your child
  • Models to your child the ability to make good choices and avoid the sometimes painful costs of making the absolute wrong ones.

If you want to learn more about parenting with under-standing and according to your child’s design, check out a new online learning.

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