Childhood identity theft.
It’s a real thing.
Thieves steal children’s Social Security numbers and then appropriate their financial identities for personal profit. “Children represent an emerging market for identity thieves who steal their Social Security numbers because they offer clean slates that can be used to commit fraud for years without detection,” one CPA has observed. “Many victims don’t learn about the crime until they are young adults and find their credit in tatters as they are rejected for student loans, jobs, and places to live.”
(If you happen to have run across this post because you need information about that type of identity theft, here’s a helpful and free tool: Child Identity Theft Education Kit.)
Childhood identity theft is also, however, a real phenomenon in a far longer-lasting aspect of a child’s life.
Christian parents can easily trade God’s view of our children’s identity for the values of the prevailing culture. When that happens, our children’s deepest and most important identity is stolen by the culture around us. The result is that we lose sight of who our children really are.
A recent LifeWay Research study asked parents to define their purpose in parenting. What this study discovered was that 25 percent of parents defined their purpose as raising their children to be “happy,” 25 percent said they wanted their children to have “good values,” while 22 percent said their purpose was to raise children who are successful.
Good values, happiness, success. None of those purposes is necessarily wrong—but each one misses the most essential truth about our children’s identity.
So what is this most important truth about our children’s identity?
Take a look at the video below to find out who your children really are.
Remembering Who Your Children Really Are
For more on our children’s identities, take a look at my book Family Ministry Field Guide.
After watching the video, summarize—in your own words—your child’s most essential identity. How does this definition differ from what is typically portrayed in popular entertainment and on social media?