Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Kids at Church

I am a firm believer in children being quiet and still during church. When I was growing up this seemed to be the common belief among parents. If I misbehaved I got taken into another room of the church and "reminded" what was expected of me. Every kid I see in church now acts like they are at Chuck E Cheese. They are loud and climbing on everything. Sunday I had a kid behind me climb over my chair to look at Braden. He was in the perfect position to be my second head. Those worries are a while in the future yet but I promise Braden will never be one of the climbing church monkeys.

So far church going has been pretty easy. The hardest part of taking Braden as a newborn was getting ready and taking care of him at the same time. He needed constant attention. When we got to church he slept the entire time every week so it was no problem. Now Braden is a little older and he doesn't sleep too much during the day. He also prefers not to be held all the time. He likes to get down and play on his own. At church that's not possible.

Sunday was a little bit of a new experience for us. It was time for him to eat at 11 o'clock sharp or right at the beginning of church. We were a little bit late and the pastor was talking as we found a seat. As soon as Arica took Braden out of the car seat he started crying. It was probably only a few seconds but in a silent church it seemed like hours. Arica hurried to get the bottle in his mouth and then it was silent again. The boy has developed quite a set of lungs.

Later in church he got sleepy and this makes him a little fussy. He didn't want to go to sleep by conventional means so I got up and took a walk. This is now one of Braden's favorite things. He likes to be up and walking around. In order to keep him happy I stood at the back of church for the entire sermon. Braden was looking at the exit signs for entertainment. Finally right at the end of the sermon he fell asleep while I was holding him. I got to sit down for the last few minutes of the service. Of course standing is worth it to make him happy. I feel like I might see a few more sermons in the standing position. Since my ears work whether standing or sitting that will be just fine with me.


Craig said...

My kids are no 11, 8 and 6 and we are finally doing well in church. We still have paper and markers or something for them but they can sit very well now. Hang in there.

New-Dad-Blog said...

Our church has a nursery, is that an option for you? I don't go to church a lot but it seems to make sense for the really little kids would can't help but be loud.

As for those kids who are old enough to know better, where are their parents? If I would have pulled that stuff I would gotten one of those lightening quick smacks to the back of the head.

WeaselMomma said...

You are off to a great start. The best way to teach kids that they are not at Chuck E. Cheese's is not to let them play. Holding constantly and walking when needed are the perfect start. Do not let him sit with books or anything else when he gets older or he will be climbing the chairs by age 3.

Melisa with one S said...

I'm with Weaselmomma. You're doing great so far. And I can tell you, as the mom of two boys who were forced to sit quietly at temple when they saw other kids running around like banshees, that you have to stick with it. It's hard for kids to see others get allowed to do what they want, but I guarantee you that if you stand firm on what behavior you expect, Braden will build a great reputation as quite an impressive young man among your co-congregants. It's worth it: keep it up!

Momo Fali said...

Even my six year old still has problems at church. He goes to a Catholic school, so he goes to Mass a couple of times a week. He's pretty good considering how long we're there, but he would still prefer to look through books instead of listening to the priest.

Starting kids early is the right thing to do.

Tom said...

I could never expect our four-year-old to hold still or be quiet for twelve seconds, let alone an entire service. He'd need so much attention that I'd miss the whole thing.

Thank God, our church has a place for four-year-olds to be and learn in their own way, at their own pace. And he likes being there.

I hope your church has that kind of option - or that Braden turns out to be a contemplative child.