Two of our children claim to hate peas. But I make them because …… well, they’re green. And if they’re green, that means they’re good for you. Right? Plus, I like them. And my husband likes them. And our oldest son likes them. Our daughter and our youngest son, however, claim to hate them. Still, when I prepare peas, they have to eat them. We tell them, “They’re good for your body. Trust us. You’ll be glad you ate them! And you might even learn to like them! You’re gonna need to teach your own children to eat peas one day. So Eat. Your. Peas!”
Friday, late morning, I was working at the computer when I received a text message on my phone with an attached picture of a plate of macaroni and cheese and a big pile of peas. The text was from our daughter. She typed, in all caps, “THEY GAVE ME PEAS. NOOOOOO! UGHHHH!” She must have been at lunch. I lovingly responded, “Wa-wa-waaa!” About 5 minutes later, another picture came through. This one was of a plate of peas, and the evidence of macaroni and cheese that once was. I answered back, “Booger! Eat. Your. Peas!” (She was messing with me now!) 2 minutes later…. A picture of a plate of peas in the trashcan. (moment of reflection) What could I do? She was there at school. I was here at home. She obviously KNEW I wanted her to eat the peas. We had taught her to eat the peas! But, she’s 16. She’s got to make her own choices. I finally typed back, “I feel utterly helpless”. I guess we failed as parents.
But not really!
Like us, our children will make mistakes. We know that. We may teach them the benefits of eating their peas, only to have them throw their plate of green peas in the trashcan. Still, we teach them – and then we send them out in to the world – and we pray for them. The prophet Joseph Smith said, “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves”. This is a simple formula for raising our children, and when it is all said and done, what more can we do?
P.S. Let it be known that I have amazing children who, for the most part, make really good choices. I’ll let the peas thing slide. 🙂