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Did You Know You Are A Family Architect?

How are you intentionally building your family? As a parent, you have a unique opportunity to shape the design and oversee your children’s development.

When I was in 9th grade, I took a photography course. I guess I have always loved to dabble in the playground of perspectives and how they can alter perceptions and understanding.

Growing up in the suburbs of Detroit, I would pass these old buildings on the side of the highway so often and grow numb to their peaks and pillars. But when this camera came into my hands, things changed. I saw things I had never seen before, turned sideways, and changed focus to appreciate the craftsmanship and the architecture.

This was the first time I remember ever truly appreciating the hard work, creativity, and patience that goes into building something.

Family Architect – More Than a Designer

An architect, by definition, is someone who plans, designs, and oversees the construction of a building.

If that fits your job description… wow! That is a BIG job. And the world is thankful for you because we are all touched by architecture every day to keep us safe, be structurally sound and even enthrall our senses with creativity.

Let’s change lenses on the camera here for a minute and look at architecture through the scope of parenting.

As a parent we are planning, designing, and overseeing while the whole world is affected by the logistics and creativity of the outcome!

These 6570 days in the first 18 years of your child’s life are, in fact, the most profound because you are building the foundation that the rest of their life will sit upon. It is no small task and this project. The 6570 Family Project™, is the greatest one that you, as a Family Architect, will ever take on. You are building the beginning of someone else’s life!

So, how can we take these 6570 days and be incredibly intentional, without being militant?

How can you love with grace and forgiveness while also directing discipline?

How can you connect with truth and trust when the world is shouting to them daily not to?

The simple answer is being proactive. An architect does not show up on-site with a hammer and some 2×4’s to just get started and see what happens. There is a plan. But how can you plan when things seem so chaotic?

7 Traits of Effective Parenting Assessment

Good parents aren’t perfect. There’s no formula to follow, but there are ways you can grow every day. Focus on the Family’s 7 Traits of Effective Parenting Assessment gives parents an honest look at their unique strengths, plus some areas that could use a little help.


One of the lies many tell themselves as an adult is that they are not a leader, but I am here to tell you that you are. You are leading your child whether you think you are or not, whether you are good at it or not and whether you want to or not. What you do affects the rest of their lives.

This is NOT a call to perfection. We, as humans, have never been called to perfection because it is not possible to attain. You absolutely will mess up.

But your child needs to see that messiness happens. From there, you can rise, repair, ask forgiveness, calm down, and more forward. Why do they need to see this? Because they will fall too, and they need to learn these lessons at home first.

So, we plan for success and teach them to do the same. In life they will face big things, but you can practice and prepare for them, and with them, through the little things.

In planning for their unique greatness, we are carefully stacking experiences that can be added to over time, so they always have a reference in this foundation you are building for and with them later.

Planning is not the only piece of building though; you also must design through obstacles and think forward for success.


Now, there is just one ultimate designer of life. However, God empowers you as a parent to carry out responsibility and love for your kids through being an architect. When it comes to designing the direction of life for your child, this is a two-step process for you as their architect.

In the first half of childhood, you are building the life for your child. It is completely up to you where they go, what they do, who their friends are, and what they eat. This can be characterized as the “building for your child” phase.

The “building for you” phase then transitions into the “building with you” phase in the second half of childhood. Suddenly, you start taking in your child’s opinions more than ever. You begin to look at perspectives and provide more freedom with your child’s decision making, choices, and options.

Think of being a family architect like a wider road with guardrails on the sides made of past teachings, biblical guidance, parental assertiveness (when needed) and lots and lots of communication. This is because what is also on that road are more influences outside of you than you have ever faced. They have friends, teachers, coaches, pastors, other family, and millions of online and television influencers waiting to direct them.

Opening those lanes of communication is imperative so you can always be honest and open about those influences on the road with them and how to stay safe, find joy and make good choices.

But what happens when they are toward the end of their 6570 day journey?


As your child moves through the childhood experience, they need to start calling the shots in their own life. This is an essential step in the authoritative parenting process. You are there and you are still actively guiding, but they are unfolding into more freedom daily while you observe, initiate critical conversations, and suggest course corrections when necessary.

The second half of childhood is their training ground for adulthood. If we don’t let them train, they will get out there and flounder, get hurt, be misunderstood. Suddenly, they won’t find success in the way that only they were meant to find it in this world and at this time.

As a familiy architect we are building a future adult that will go out and be a Self-Disciplined Leader™ of themselves and maybe even others. But the first focus is the self. They need to train in how to take on their own success habits, their own faith, their own wisdom, respect and believe in themselves because they are worthy, valued and appreciated. This does not come without daily intentionality.

Final Thoughts on Being a Family Architect

There are a lot of moments in every day. Some go by without notice. And some remain even if we don’t want them. However, those key moments remain because they build that foundation that they will be able to stand on for support.

We are architects. You are an architect. You are building the foundation for someone else’s life. That is a profound and humbling responsibility, and we have a deadline. 6570 days.

You will always be their parent, but you will never have more impact and influence than you have in the family architect stage. I urge you to find the joy and responsibility in it every day.

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If you need further guidance and encouragement, Focus on the Family has a staff of licensed, professional counselors who offer a one-time complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. They can also refer you to counselors in your area for ongoing assistance.
Reach a Focus on the Family counselor toll-free at 1-855-771-HELP (4357).

Understand How to Respect and Love Your Son Well

"Why doesn’t my son listen to me?" Have you ever asked yourself that? The truth is, how you view your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. We’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Focus on Parenting Podcast

Mom or dad, could you use some encouragement and support? Put your ear buds in for this Christian parenting podcast and get practical, faith-based inspiration through all stages of parenting. Hosted by Dr. Danny Huerta, in every 8 to 15 minute episode, you’ll hear parenting experts share Biblical truths, effective parenting techniques, and useful resources that will help you feel equipped as a mom or dad in today’s culture.
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Learn How to Speak Your Strong-Willed Child's Language

In this free 6-part video series, Cynthia Tobias, author of many popular parenting books including You Can’t Make Me, explains why your strong-willed child thinks in certain ways and gives you effective tools you can use when communicating with him or her. Start today!

Get Equipped With the Truth So
You Can Bring Light to the Lies

Abortion is not an easy subject to talk about. You want to defend the truth, to expose the realities so easily confused during these times. Yet, it is so easy to tense up, to get nervous, to get so concerned with wanting to say the “right thing” that you end up saying nothing at all. If you feel at a loss when these conversations come up, this video series, “8 Lies About Abortion,” can help equip you with the truth, and the confidence to engage in the discussion.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.

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