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Perfection in parenting is nearly impossible to measure. God, the Perfect Parent, sets the perfect example. But we will always fall short because our attitudes, desires and intentions are not always as perfect as His. However, one of the many lessons from our perfect Godly Parent that we can focus on perfecting is our exactness.

In 1828, Webster defined exactness as “regularity” and “careful observance of method and conformity to truth…”

Despite our flaws as parents, which we all have, we can stay focused on the method of instruction we’re providing for our children, the truth that must be present in our teaching method and lessons, and the consistency of our teaching. All of these are required to help the child experience a change of heart.

So, if parents are feeling stressed out one afternoon when a child needs correction, then they can change their focus from the stress feelings to the method of instruction they have already promised the child they would use for corrections. This predictable correction uses the exact words from their skills associated with the method, instead of using their self-absorbed emotions. Having a pre-planned method for our parenting interactions keeps us calm and safe from outbursts during the interactions with our children.

Methods not only protect parents from reacting to parenting situations in ways they will feel bad about afterward, but they also make correction time safer and more welcome for the children. When parents are exact in their methods, the children know precisely what will happen if they choose wrong or right. They already know the words of the coming correction or the words and happy exchange of the coming praise.

The Foundation of Exactness

Exactness is rooted in good teaching. People cannot be in complete control of themselves and make educated decisions without proper training and planning for success. This means children and parents need to take time to plan how they will interact with each other in different situations in order to have a chance of self-governing themselves in the moment of communication.

Prepping or pre-teaching a person for success means not only discussing potential and necessary future communications, but also the method that will be used to bond, seek understanding, and problem solve during that future interaction. We need to know exactly what we will say and what our body language will be like when a child needs correction or praise. And, if the child isn’t willing to take correction when it’s given with exactness, the family needs an additional method of communication and problem solving that will help the child become calm and ready to accept the necessary parental teaching.

This pre-teaching is the chief distinction between parents who become overly emotional with their children, or those who ignore the needs of their children, and those who are caring educators of their children. The first two types of parents aren’t prepared for problems, so their future interactions are unpredictable and oftentimes feel unsafe to them and their children. The third type of parent, the caring educators, create a predictable and exact method for instruction, correction and praise — which keeps them in a teaching, instead of a reacting, role.

Consistent Action Gets Results

When a parent remains in their God-given teacher role, then the child gets the maximum amount of instruction from the parent. The parent will pre-teach before any situation occurs, and then because of the original pre-teaching, the parent can also review that pre-teaching after a necessary correction is given. This means that even in correction the child is being pre-taught for future successful communications and problem solving.

Not only does the parent end up with more teaching opportunities because of a pre-planned teaching method, but also the child is more inclined to be obedient to the exact communications from the parents. The increase in exactness on the part of the parent produces an increase in exactness on the part of the child. And, when everyone is acting with exactness, they all feel more in control of themselves and more emotionally and physically safe.

Sure, it takes a bit more work to pre-teach us and our children an exact method, and to communicate with exactness as our planned method requires. I suppose it takes a bit more work for everything that’s worth doing well. A meal isn’t perfected until the cook is pre-taught with a recipe and cooking practice has occurred. A business isn’t perfect without a business plan and a method for transacting business and solving business problems. People would not put more time into meal planning and business-growing methods than the effort and time they put into the plan they have for their family relationships. Would they?

Pre-teach yourself and your family for self-government success by joining the Sept. 14 webinar: “Training Toddlers to Transforming Teens”