"So, JD....how does it happen? How do I keep my boys good and on the right track. What is the best thing parents can do to help their boys?"
His best friend Lass was there too. Another great kid getting ready for his mission.
Lass: "Lots of cookies and treats." (Apparently food is a big thing for boys). And I remember JD sticking his head in the primary room one Sunday while I was serving with his mom who was the President at the time. Right before the meeting started...he asked "Hey, Mom, whats for dinner tonight?"
If I had been Michelle, I am pretty sure I would have said something like "I DON'T KNOW!!!!....I'M TRYING TO START A PRIMARY MEETING HERE!!! I'LL FIGURE IT OUT WHEN I GET HOME!!!!" Which has been my response to Clint on a few occasions.
But MIchelles response was diffrent...
She stopped what she was doing, looked at him and said: "Chicken, I think. Probably some kind of chicken."
JD: "Sounds good. Thanks mom."
You know that old saying about the best way to trap a man is through his stomach? Apparently it works on our son's too. But that is not the only answer they gave me. And even though it was partially in jest that Lass told me that, I am pretty sure it was quite profound as well. If we can keep our boys coming home every night for a good dinner, and lots of cookies and healty and nutritious treats as well...it is definately one way to keep them around...and their friends too. Number 1 on my mental list...keep the kitchen cleaner, stocked with yummy treats, and always tell Clint what we are having for dinner.
Point number 2 was a little more thought-out and revealing. And a little more difficult to accomplish. The answer from JD: "Just trust them. Have faith in them that they will do the right thing...and most of the time, they will." Real words of Wisdom from a 19 year old boy who is close to his Heavenly Father. Of course, I know this is not the best solution for all families. Or for all kids. I know JD really is very close to his mom, and his dad...and he would never do anything to hurt them. He would never want to. And not all kids are like that when they are young. But what Michelle and John did for JD worked. And I am sure they prayed about how to raise their children, like all of us do. And all any of us can do is pray and hope that if we love our children and really put them first, and we teach them by example...they will know and do what is right. We all make mistakes. Our children will too. And of course we need to give them consequences for their actions and explain to them how to stay safe. But we also need to let them make choices.
My style of parenting is diffrent from many of my friends. But there are some things we have in common. We pray constantly for inspiration for the right way to raise our children. All children are diffrent and need diffrent forms of nuturing to reach their potential. I belive that my boys came to me because I can teach them what they need. I try my hardest every day, and often fall short. But my most important goal is that my boys know that I love them. That their father and I are their greatest friends. That they can trust us. That they know that we will stand by them no matter what. We will love them no matter what. That Jesus Christ is their friend and their brother. That he loves them and will help them. I want my boys to know and realize that I have willingly gone without time and things for myself, so they can have not only what they need, but things they want. That is what my parents did for me. Fortunatley, because of our circumstances, there are many times I have to say no. But my boys know that if I could, I usually would...and they are both real sweethearts because of it. Of coures I do say "NO" when Derek wants to eat cookies for lunch instead of his sandwich....and that is never a fun thing when the kicking and screaming starts...and Clint still gets mopey when I tell him he still has to go to bed at 9 PM if he misses American Idol. But inspite of the times of my weaknesses of typical parenting shortcommings, I hope my boys continue to stay the way they are now. They are both good boys, and I feel very blessed. I pray every day they stay on the right track.
And in the mean time...I will still forgo having a clean kitchen to do a new science experiment...I will take out the trash myself if it means Clint and his dad can finish up the last Halo campaign before bed...I will skip picking up toys if it means the boys can have fun instead...because at least in our house...family time and fun is about 100 times more important then just about any of the small stuff. And for my boys...that is the way we are going to do it. Because that is who I am...and I really hope...like everyone....that it is the right thing for us.
(I do know a few mom's who have a clean house...and have all the fun too...there are a few supermom's out there...but I usually have to make the choice. But I love my friends with clean houses.... I am just rambling on about what works for me...so there you go!)