Kids need to be taught to sit still and quiet. It is convenient to have a nursery to take your crying child to at church but have you ever wondered if your child is just acting up so that he/she can go play in the nursery instead of being bored and quiet in the sanctuary?
We had Liam on a Sunday a few weeks ago and went to Sunday 8:30 am service as usual. I did not get him up early enough for him to eat breakfast before we left for church, so I took him a snack and his breakfast. I intended to give him his snack during service, because he can slowly get the Lil’ Beanies crunchers out of the snack cup and eat them on his own. Then in between services I would feed him the overnight cold oatmeal (it’s like a pudding and sooo healthy and he loves it).
Michael did not sleep well the night before and was up most of the night, so we came home after the first service. But I have to tell you that even as young as he is, he was able to sit through most of the one hour long service, quietly. I’ve mentioned his love of food here before and let me just say, it was a mistake to only fill the snack cup half full when he had not had breakfast yet (only his morning milk). But when he fussed, loudly, I carried him out of the service, from the second row, and into an unused room. I did not want to equate pitching a fit and leaving service with the reward of playing with toys and other children.
Once I got him under control, we went back in. After a bit, he wanted down to walk, but I would not let him, so he reach for Grandpa. Well I couldn’t rightly keep him from his Grandpa, so I let him go. And as Pastor Alan Taylor has preached, he had his plan to get down and succeeded through his Grandpa. Kids find the weakest link to their objective and will go through however many people necessary to get their desired end. Unfortunate for him, I’m more stubborn and ended up picking him up, to which he responded by fussing. So out we went again only this time, he calmed by the time we got to the last row; so we sat there for the final 10 minutes of service.
Kids need limits. Kids need to be taught to sit still and quiet, without electronics. Kids need consistency.
We have a humidity gauge in our living room on the coffee table. Ever since Liam was little it has been there. When he first found it, I told him no and took it from him and sat it back on the coffee table where it had been. When he touched it again, I repeated that it was a no-no. The next time he touched it, I again repeated that it was a no-no and tapped his hand. Oh My Word! You would have thought he had gotten seared with a hot iron but I held my stand and he left it alone. To this day, he knows he is not supposed to touch it but he will test the limits every now and then. He did this while he was with us and his parents were on a cruise. After about three days of not touching it, he decided to pick it up. I was consistent and removed it from his hands, said no-no, and tapped him. He wasn’t happy but knew the boundaries. Then I walked out of the room and he again picked it up, so Michael was consistent in my stead. The rest of the time he was here, he left it alone.
Disciplining children takes consistency, which means the parents and caregivers must also be disciplined. I think it is God’s sneaky way of making us grow up.
If you don’t have the opportunity to train your children to sit quietly in a church service (without being occupied by electronics), you can practice at home. You could put on a preaching video or tv program and have your child sit beside you on the sofa or chair as you watch and listen, training them to sit quietly. It is a valuable skill.
Until next time, God bless,