IDEALKIDMN (V613) reports the ideal total number of children the man would have liked to have in his whole life, regardless of how many children he had actually fathered. The information is collected through hypothetical questions such as, "If you could go back to the time you did not have any children and could choose exactly the number of children to have in your whole life, how many would that be?" (for men with living children) or "If you could choose exactly the number of children to have in your whole life, how many would that be?" (for men without living children).
If the man responded with a range of values, IDEALKID reports the midpoint between those values. According to the DHS Recode Manuals, "If the midpoint is not an exact number then the number is rounded up in half the cases and rounded down for the other half." The questionnaires included space for non-numeric "other" responses, such as "Up to God."