“You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” Psalm 139:14 MSG


According to the Webster Dictionary the definition of a “genius” ranges from one having an amazing creative ability, to one having a high IQ, to another with a “a peculiar, distinctive, or identifying character or spirit”. Since the term “genius” is up for interpretation, I would like to encourage all who are reading today that YOUR children are born geniuses – they each have been given from God a nature and a talent or a gifting of their own, and when we treat them as “geniuses” we might just begin seeing “genius” type results coming out of them!


It wasn’t too long ago that we were taught that kids were little egocentric parasites, and that we as parents needed to HUMBLE our children through rough words and anti-vain speech. Telling our kids to “keep to themselves” and reminding them that they are nothing, know nothing, and as long as they think about nothing great – they will survive in the reality of the world. How WRONG we were! Even as I write this I am reminded of Jesus’ first teaching episode in the temple at twelve years old, and his mother reprimanding Him. In which He responded to her, “Woman don’t you know I am about my FATHER’S business?” This is KEY… we as parents MUST realize that our children are here for the Father’s business (just like Jesus was), and that they have been created for His own purpose. Telling them continually that they will amount to nothing would be robbing them of their God-given potential.


Since my oldest son was a baby I used to call him “Mr. President”. I was amazed by him and the nobility that he carried from birth. He had a huge smile and was always head held high. I would call him “Mr. President” and I would see him in the light that he had a specialness about him that I totally admired. I will never forget walking into the bank one day when he was around two years old and hearing him shout out… “HEY EVERYBODY!” Then he smiled and waved to what seemed like “his people”! I learned from that point on that stifling his outgoing nature would have not just killed him, it would have killed me. What did I do? I smiled and waved too! This exercise in embracing his outgoing and extremely personable nature by encouraging it instead of belittling it, made me a better mother and person. When our children are treated as “genius” no matter what our own hang-ups from our childhood forces us to HAVE to put away our own insecurities, and trust that God has a plan greater than just for ourselves! At 22 years old I would have NEVER walked into a quiet and stoic bank and shouted “HI EVERYBODY!” But my son DID and at just two years old, and I bet he made everyone’s day!


Regrettably, I haven’t always remembered that my children were “geniuses in the making”. I have had my moments of awe and shock at some of the ‘dumb’ things that they have done. The worst is probably when I have clucked, shaken my head, or disappointedly glared at them when they were in error. While we make it a practice to NEVER call them negative names, those disapproving glances can cause just as much pain! We must as parents curb these looks of disapproval and maintain our outward smiles ESPECIALLY in front of their friends. Pulling your child aside and asking them why they did what they did is much better for you AND for them. You can begin your sentences by asking:

  • “Please help me to understand why you… (xyz)”
  • “Did you know what you were doing when you did… (xyz)”

Don’t forget that every time a correction needs to be made a praise MUST also be given! This is called the ‘sandwich’ effect. An example of the sandwich effect could be this:

“Hey sweetie, can I talk to you for a minute? Today I was really proud of you when you took care of your little sister the way you did. You were gentle and kind with her, did you know when you left with your friends without saying “Goodbye” to her it really hurt her feelings? I bet you would MAKE HER DAY if you went over to her and told her you were sorry about that… maybe you could even read her a story? You know she thinks you are THE BEST! Me TOO!”

When we ‘sandwich’ bad news or reprimands as our way of dealing with people, we are appealing to their nobler motive and encouraging change versus bringing on a personal attack. This type of conversation takes practice, but as you remember to calm down and ‘sandwich’ the correction you are hoping to see, you will begin to learn very quickly that CHILDREN ARE CAPTIVE AUDIENCES to their parents and it is how we as parents deal with this audience that determines their inner genius or dunce… it really is all up to us!

As an encouraging and uplifting community we at WHM welcome your comments/replies/and funny stories!!

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 In honor of our little ones going back-to-school I thought I would begin a series totally devoted to kids and how I as a mom of 6 have dealt with certain issues. For the next 30 days I am going to cover my “smartest” and “dumbest” moments in child raising pertaining to certain issues, here are the other posts in this series:


Other WHM articles regarding ENCOURAGEMENT:

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