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How to Keep Your Child Quiet During Church

Updated on May 31, 2016
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Marissa is the writer of ThePracticalMommy and the blog Mommy Knows What's Best. She is a stay-at-home mom to four and was a teacher.

My kids, ready for my daughter's first church service.
My kids, ready for my daughter's first church service. | Source

Taking Kids to Church

When you bring your kids to church, what do you do to help them stay quiet?

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How to Keep Your Child Quiet During Church

Do you bring your kids to church? Many parents already bring their children to church on a regular basis, but there is always a surge in attendance around holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving or Easter. Are you one of those parents? Are you worried about bringing your child to church and having a pleasant experience?

I bring my kids to church on a regular basis, and even though they are used to going, it’s still a challenge to keep them calm and quiet. I use a few tactics to make it a nice time for all of us in the family.

Here are a few tips to keep your little ones calm and quiet so you can enjoy and listen to the service.

1. Dress your children comfortably. It seems like such an obvious tip, but it is one that might be overlooked, especially during holidays when it is popular to dress kids up in the cutest outfits fit for the season. Usually this is during the Easter and Christmas seasons, when little girls and boys get cute little frilly dresses or new little suits and ties. Often, these clothing items are itchy or just annoying to the kids. If the outfits include extras that might bother the kids in a long period of time, like ties, hats, etc., skip them for the church service and save them for the pictures.

2. Bring drinks and a snack. For infants, you’ll most likely want to be prepared for a feeding, even if the service is not during a regular feeding time. If you are breastfeeding, make sure there is a space you can quietly nurse the baby, like a children’s Sunday school room or nursery. For older babies and toddlers, it’s probably okay to bring a bottle or two, or a no-spill sippy cup along with some small, quiet snacks like Cheerios, fruit snacks, or Goldfish. Those snacks work for my kids, as long as we make sure we clean up our pew before we leave.

3. Bring quiet toys. My kids each have some soft books and little toys to keep themselves occupied. My son likes to bring some of his Fisher Price Noah’s Ark animals and some crayons and paper. My daughter is content with her Taggy book, Touch and Feel books, teething rings, or her cloth dolls. While these toys are nice and quiet, others might not work so well, such as rattles, electronic toys or toys that move too much (cars, balls, etc).

4. Sit near the back of the church, where the kids won’t be as much of a distraction. My husband and I occupy one of the back benches of our church, as do other parents of small children. It’s easier to keep the kids from being a distraction in the back where there are few people behind us and the door is near if we needed a quick exit.

5. Encourage babies to nap during service. When both of my kids were infants, they would normally take small naps around the same time we would have church service. If you can encourage your baby to take a nap, do so. It might be tough to hold them still for an hour or so, but you will be able to listen to the service and your baby will be rested afterward.

6. Give clear expectations to toddlers and older children. Before every church service, I remind my son of what is going to happen and how I expect him to behave. I remind him that he needs to sit nicely on the bench, play quietly with his things, not to make a mess with his snack and to be polite to those around us. He also is reminded that if he needs to use the potty he should before the church service so he doesn’t distract others during the service.

What to Do When Your Child Cannot Sit Still During a Church Service

It is hard for young children and babies to sit still for long periods of time. Most young children can only sit for 15-30 minutes at a time. It may be necessary to take them out of the church after 30 minutes have passed just to give them a break. If there is a children’s playroom, take your child there to relax for a few minutes, reminding him/her how they need to behave once you go back inside. Often there is a TV monitor or speaker in the playroom for parents to view the service from downstairs if you need to be in there for a longer period of time.

©ThePracticalMommy2011


Do You Have Any Tips for When You Bring Your Children to Church?

Do you have any tips or tricks you use when you bring your children to church? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!



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    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 4 years ago from United States

      Church Girl, I definitely agree that there can be training at home for how kids should behave in public. This can be practiced at dinner time or during story time. There are times though, especially when kids are very young, that they need some distractions during a long period of time, such as during a service. It is well known that kids' attention spans only last 20-30 minutes, so to keep them quiet and calm during a service which can last up to 60 minutes or more, it can be helpful to bring a quiet book/toy or a small snack. Once they're around the ages of 4-6 years and can better control themselves, they can be expected to sit quietly for that long without any toys or snacks. My 5 year old son is now at that stage and does very well during church sitting still without a toy or book or snack, but for my two year old and 6 month old, I come well prepared.

      Thanks for your comment! :)

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      Church Girl 4 years ago

      When I was a child of 8 and when I had my children (2), the training for public places took place in my home. That's where I learned and taught my children to sit and be quite so that when in a public I knew how to. As a child I didn't "play or eat" in church or anywhere else and I trained my children the same way. The lack of home training is the source of the problems we see and hear with young children. You can do it moms.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 4 years ago from United States

      paula, it does help to bring a few small things for your child to do while in church. It's hard for little ones to sit still and quiet for so long! Thanks for reading!

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      paula 4 years ago

      my church doesn't have a daycare and I need too take them too church with me it's a must so they will in still godly things in them with the way the world is. they need church.my four year old just can't keep still in church. and I take her all the time. am going too start takin coloring books and crayons. and see will this help her.and she loves too go too church with me she sings in the choir with me but she just want keep still. my.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 4 years ago from United States

      Pinkchic18 , while it's great that these parents are bringing their kids to church, the noise can be a distraction for others around them. I'm glad you like my tips and hope that others can benefit from them! Thanks for reading!

    • Pinkchic18 profile image

      Sarah Carlsley 4 years ago from Minnesota

      I feel like more members of my church need to read this ;) there is always very loud children and parents who can't control them. Oye. Nice work here, great tips!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 4 years ago from United States

      MissJamieD, glad you like the tips! Thanks for reading!

    • MissJamieD profile image

      MissJamieD 4 years ago from Minnes-O-ta

      Very cute ideas and great idea for a hub:) Something many of us have struggled with:)

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 4 years ago from United States

      Anna Evanswood , glad you like the tips! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Anna Evanswood profile image

      Anna Evanswood 4 years ago from Malaysia

      Great work. We take my child to Church and your hints are gold:) Thanks

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 4 years ago from United States

      ExpectGreatThings, I'm sure if your daughter is a good example, your son might just do the same. Let's hope for the best!

      When this hub was the HOTD, I had many people who don't generally read parenting hubs read it, so I saw a ton of varied opinions when it comes to kids. No biggie. To each their own! I personally love my little kids. :)

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 4 years ago from Illinois

      This is such a useful hub! Thanks for all of your ideas. My daughter does really well with a pad of paper and some pens. But I am not counting on her little brother to be as quiet - in the summer he turns 3 and will promote out of the nursery. I am amazed at how many of your commenters get annoyed with kids. I have always been entertained by their squeaky little voices and fun spirits.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      liftandsoar, followers used to be called 'fans' here on HP sometime before even I started writing on the site. I guess they decided to change it for good reasons. I'm glad to be a 'fan'! :) Thanks again for stopping by!

    • liftandsoar profile image

      Frank P. Crane 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks, TPM, you're very gracious. You are right about PDX...

      I've enjoyed reading some of your other hubs as well. Welcome to my growing group of followers. I have to admit to being just a little uncomfortable with anyone "following" me. I've preached all my life that it's Jesus we follow. But I understand what HP means by it.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      liftandsoar, thank you very much for your kind words! You're right about bringing kids to church to learn how worship can be a useful and encouraging experience. Our kids are very accustomed to going now that it isn't a hassle.

      Be easy on PDXKaraokeGuy; he's a good guy and he was just being honest when he commented on here, which I really appreciated. To each his own, right? :)

      Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • liftandsoar profile image

      Frank P. Crane 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

      If I were still a pastor, I'd print your hub on a bulletin insert and include it once a quarter. (w/your permission, of course) Excellent! Having said that, it's a good thing to remember that presumably one brings kids to church because you want them to find worship a useful and encouraging experience, if not immediately, later. Don't let going to church become such a hassle that the child grows you to avoid it altogether.

      Word to PDXKaraokeGuy: were you never a kid?

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Kelleyward, thanks! I'll have to go read that hub if I didn't already. :)

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      kelleyward 5 years ago

      Wanted to let you know I added you and this hub on my latest hub on free things to do with your kids. Thanks for writing this useful article!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      jenniferg78, thank you for sharing your story. I too think exposing young children to a religion helps to create a strong foundation for a good value system. Thank you for reading and for commenting! :)

    • jenniferg78 profile image

      jenniferg78 5 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Your kids are very cute :) This is a great post and your kids will have good memories from going to church because you prepare them well and make it a good experience.

      My mother used to take us to synagogue when we were little and we learned very quickly to be quiet and sit nicely. I think it was a very positive experience for us and i think exposing children to religion at a young age helps to give them a good value system. I have only good memories and I hope one day I will be able to give my kids the same positive experience.

    • djmiller83 profile image

      djmiller83 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      you are very welcome. Please read mine when you have a chance. It's the first freelance article I ever wrote so I am new at this. Much Appreciated.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      djmiller83, I'm glad you liked the article! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • djmiller83 profile image

      djmiller83 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      good article. we can use it for our little girls.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      khae_g, I'm glad you found the hub to be helpful! It's hard for little ones to sit through services, especially those that may be longer than 30 minutes. A book or a quiet toy may help your daughter to stay quiet so others around her can listen. My daughter enjoys a little Noah's Ark book I keep in our bag since she loves animals now. Perhaps your daughter would like something similar. Best of luck! :)

    • khae_g profile image

      khae_g 5 years ago from Vienna, Austria

      It's a very helpful hub. My daughter is always in the Church since birth because I'm an Organist in our choir and my husband sings in the choir too. So I have a babysitter(most of the time it's a family member like my aunt or cousin) watching for my daughter during our worship services. And because of that, I think my daughter is not that kind of a child who cries when her mother leaves her and she is not a shy-type-little-girl. Yet I never let her bring a toy or a book or anything else to the church which is why she has become very noisy and can't sit still during services. Next time I'll try to bring a book and let's see if this will make her sit down quietly.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      louromano, kids are fun! Thanks for reading!

    • louromano profile image

      louromano 5 years ago

      I like kids very much. Because i seem kids character pure.Thanks for sharing.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      teaches12345, I'm glad you liked the hub! Keeping kids calm and quiet in church is important not only so that they learn to respect the service but that others get to enjoy the service as well. I'm sure you know that as the preacher's kid! ;) Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      As a preacher's kid I had to model quiet behavior during church services. I highly suggest your advice to parents in keeping children happy and interested in church attendance. When my son was little I would keep stickers, matchbox cars, snacks in my purse to keep him quiet. Enjoyed your hub!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Lol. :)

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      exactly. and, yesterday, my wife said to me "These girls are driving me crazy. I need a break." it sounded an awful lot like having children...

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Oh Justin. It just means that you devote your life to other great things (like your wife and your great poetry!) for which you will have more patience. To each their own, right? :)

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      that's what I hear... but i know i'm too selfish and impatient :)

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      PDXKaraokeGuy, gotcha. Not everyone is all about raising kids. It does take a high level of patience and love, understanding that the little monsters (cute little monsters, of course) will someday grow up as wonderful adults who are able to make the world a better place. In that is the reward. :)

      I will read your poem, certainly. Thanks for stopping by again!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      Practical, once my wife and I made the decision not to have children, my patience for them went from slightly detectable to none., I view them as the ultimate narciststs who take take take, weaving a path f destruction, finances, relationships, etc in their wake. i don't understand why people have kids, but, i hear it's rewarding :-)

      read my poem Lizards

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Hi, swayaminfotech, I'm not sure which 'parents' you're referring to, but if it's the parents in the hub, I don't quite see how trying to keep kids occupied or quiet so other people can enjoy a church service (or any public event) is letting them 'get away with it'. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, though! :)

    • profile image

      swayaminfotech 5 years ago

      At the same time, these parents are letting them "get away with it."

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Paul, I like your premise, to not have your children be a problem to society. If only all parents had that idea about their kids! Thanks so much for commenting and sharing your ideas. :)

    • Paul Bisquera profile image

      Paul Bisquera 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      You're right Practical Mommy, there are a lot of parents who don't properly train their children. Unfortunately, those parents "live on guilt" that they didn't get the things they got as a child so they feel obligated to give them everything. At the same time, these parents are letting them "get away with it."

      I don't believe in "being popular with my kids" or being their friend. All I want is to keep them safe and make sound decisions when they grow up. My basic premise is to have them "not be a problem to society." That's all.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Come on now, PDXKaraokeGuy, don't you remember being a child? ;) Perhaps I'll consider another hub of how to have better behaved children in public, because even as a mother I do agree that there are too many children out there who are not effectively taught how to properly behave in public (and that's aside from the guaranteed occasional public tantrum that comes with all children) and too many parents who lack the skills to teach their children proper public behavior. Thanks for commenting, and thanks for the idea!!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      ishwaryaa22, thank you very much for your kind comment and for reading!

    • PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

      Justin W Price 5 years ago from Juneau, Alaska

      can you write a hub about not taking kids in any public location? If I hear one more screaming kid at winco I'm liable to public ally endorse forced castration (can you tell I'm not a parent?).

    • ishwaryaa22 profile image

      Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 5 years ago from Chennai, India

      Very Thoughtful and Sensible hub. This hub of yours deserved the Hub of the Day! Congrats! Keep on educating us, hubbers, with more of your mothering experience. Interesting and useful! Vote up.

      P.S. Your kids are very cute!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Purple Perl, well thank you! I appreciate your comment. Thanks so much for reading! :)

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 5 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Such wonderful practical tips for every church going parent. You are indeed a caring mom.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      jpcmc, my son would be asking in a loud toddler voice, "Where are the sounds?". Lol

      ahydz, thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm glad you liked the hub! :)

    • profile image

      ahydz 5 years ago

      Great HUb! ...I agree that it's a tough job to make kids well behave while in church...these tips will really help a lot esp that my kids are very active. Congrats on Hub pf the day!

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      @rLcasaLme. At 7 months old, my baby also loves to watch videos on my phone. However, what she likes the most are those with loud sounds. I tried it once in the church it just made a huge ruckus. Did not try it again. LOL.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Paul Bisquera, I'm glad you liked the hub! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • Paul Bisquera profile image

      Paul Bisquera 5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Practical Mommy, you have a great article and detailed! So much good chock full of answers which I will certainly use. Thanks!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Thank you all so much for taking the time to read this hub and to leave such wonderful comments! I really enjoyed reading through all of your own personal stories and the tips that you shared. I'm glad that so many of you can relate to the hub, and for those who did not, I'm glad that you took the time to respond as to how the hub applied to your life. I appreciate it all so much! :)

    • rLcasaLme profile image

      rLcasaLme 5 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

      My baby loves to watch videos in my mobile. I play the video repeatedly while having the phone locked. She would just watch it until she gets asleep. But sometimes I'm not that lucky. =)

    • ediann profile image

      ediann 5 years ago

      I enjoyed reading your hub very much. Your children are adorable. You provide wonderful advice. I wish I could take my son to church but it has been very challenging. He is autistic and has great difficulty in any social situations. Sadly when he made his first holy communion he was not able to do it in procession with the other boys and girls. He did it alone at a mass that was not designated for the children. It broke our heart that our son had to do it all alone. Thanks for the good advice. I wish we had the joy of having him experience this but due to his behavioral and social struggles it is so very difficult. I have cried many tears on all that my son has lost out on. I wish we had the understanding of others.

    • jennoel28 profile image

      Jennifer N. Williams 5 years ago from Independence, MO, USA

      Thanks for writing this hub!!! I'm always trying to find ways to keep my 2 children quiet during church and with me being a single parent with four and five year old daughters, keeping them quiet on some Sundays can be a challenge. I always bring snacks for them and make sure that they pack up books, quiet toys and art materials to keep them entertained as well as making sure that what they wear to church is comfortable. And when they make too much noise, I would take them for a walk in the hallway and would still be able to listen to different talks through the loud speakers that are in the ceiling. Again thanks for writing this hub. And the children are adorable!!! God bless and thanks in advance for reading my comment.

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 5 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Congrats on Hub of the Day!!

    • oliviaharrisbrown profile image

      oliviaharrisbrown 5 years ago

      Great article. Everything that you said is true and are tips that I also use with my kids. Thumbs up!

    • Moon Willow Lake profile image

      Moon Willow Lake 5 years ago

      Though I'm not a church-goer, these tips come in handy for all sorts of functions where a little one needs to be still and quiet for a while. We have used all of these techniques for our little guy, and they usually tend to work well. One other thing we do is bring earbuds so he can watch videos on our smartphone. It keeps him quiet and entertained at the same time.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Great tips and I love the photo of your kids too! My children are all older now, but its nice that our church provides activity baskets in each of the pews for coloring, writing and playing with colored pipe cleaners. Congrats on hub of the day!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 5 years ago from The Beautiful South

      I can tell that little boy is a sweetheart in Church so I am sure the baby will one day be too.

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Good topic; I just never thought about it-church was church and we all went as a family. I always sat in the front with them and that way they could see what was going on and get used to the 'rituals' of the Catholic mass. Heck, I was never alone in that aspect-there was always a ton of families with kids from all ages sitting throughout the church. Good hub.

    • profile image

      The Writers Dog 5 years ago

      My grandmother used to bring colouring books and jelly beans to keep us quiet during Church. Luckily, our Church had a creche that started halfway through the service, so all of the kids would be sent off and avoid Rev Gordon's rather long sermons.

      I am still addicted to jelly beans decades later!

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

      My family does not "do" church, but these tips apply equally to any public outing, whether a shopping mall or a restaurant.

      Nothing is more irritating than parents who allow their children to run wild around a restaurant, or stand on the benches and hang over the back of the booth peering into others' dining space, when you are trying to enjoy a nice meal.

      I refused to even take my children to eat out in a sit-down restaurant until they were about 6 or 7, and could actually understand what they were being told. Toddlers don't "get it." It's in one ear and out the other, and I did not want to interrupt my meal for a doggie bag, or miss out on a nice evening because of trying to ride herd on my kids--not that they were bad kids--just normally active, and normally inquisitive. I'm sorry, but if you have to threaten to take them home, and then follow through, it's actually the child who has won, as that's probably what they wanted anyway. So until they reached an appropriate age, they got left with grandma or we got take-out.

      Voted up & useful.

    • Hope Wilbanks profile image

      Hope Wilbanks 5 years ago from Louisiana

      Great tips! When our kids were babies, we sat on the very first pew in church for several years and it never seemed to be a problem. I think a lot of times kids learn how to train their parents (usually Mom) to get up and go out with them. I've watched it over the years. It's actually funny because the baby will cry at the same point of the service every single time and the mom takes it out. As soon as she stands to leave, he hushes. He's trained her and she just doesn't realize it. On the other hand, my son was a screamer, so I totally empathize with Moms taking kiddos out...which is usually to spare her embarrassment more than anything. I try to extend compassion and offer help to mommas. Those are tough years and moms tend to get very little out of church because of it.

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 5 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Congrats on the HOTD award!

      You definitely mentioned some great tips in this hub. My church offers nursery from 6 weeks (infants) to 3yrs. Kids over that age goes in the children church. So we hardly ever get any interruption from babies, except during occasional baby dedications.

    • rural exile profile image

      rural exile 5 years ago from Derbyshire

      Some great ideas here on keeping the little ones quiet during the service. In our church the 9.00am Sunday Mass caters for children with a special group with bible stories etc which starts at the beginning of Mass in the sacristry and then the children rejoin the family after the sermon which I think can be the most difficult time for children to be quiet. When my own were little I always sat near an exit so that should they start to be noisy during the most sacred part I could take them out! Happily this did not happen very often. With regards to them yelling at baptism my maternal family believed that this was a good sign and the yells were shouts of joy at being received into God's family!! The priest did not necessarily agree!

    • LoriSoard profile image

      LoriSoard 5 years ago from Henryville, Indiana

      I loved the tip about bringing QUIET toys. We once had a woman bring a toy for her baby that sang "Do you know the muffin man?" The problem was that the toy was almost as loud as the preacher. The baby wasn't the one pushing the toy to make it sing. It was the woman! It was kind of funny, though. I sang that song to our preacher for several months after that.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      This is a very useful Hub that I hope many people will read, so I am forwarding it.

      Our church has a wide hallway all around the sanctuary, so for kids that need to go out of the service or people that are stiff and need to walk, they all can walk through this hallway and view and hear the service on large monitors. It's like a service overflow and ushers come out to check to make sure everyone is alright or to take in prayer requests, etc.

    • ScentsForCandles profile image

      ScentsForCandles 5 years ago from Utah

      While some of the things in this post are good for babies I don't think they are good for toddlers and young children.

      Just be careful not to turn church into an "activity center in a bag" type of event. If you do, your kids will never learn to listen to the message being given and they won't ever learn to sit still. At least not for many years until the "activity center bag" is not fun anymore.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 5 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Just came back to say congrats on getting Hub of the Day for this fantastic hub!

    • Colleenmt profile image

      Colleenmt 5 years ago from Milwaukee, WI

      I love this hub. I think it's so important to bring the little ones to church even though they can sometimes get fidgety or loud. I don't have children of my own, so I think it's important for everyone else in the congregation to realize that the parents are doing their duty by bringing their children to worship and be polite if there are any interruptions.

      My 2-year-old niece comes to church with us every Sunday and she is quite the handful! I agree with your tip about talking to the kids before church - when I was little my mom always "practiced" with us ("Show me how you act in church!") and emphasized that this was one hour when we needed to be very well-behaved. Rewards afterwards, even if it's just praise, is also good.

      Thanks for this great article!

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      Great advice! My kids usually do pretty well, but we always bring some "busy activities" to keep them quiet. It also helps that the church I went to had a children's sermon about halfway through. It does help if the church has a decent children's program - the church I went to only had about 5 kids in entirety, so things were difficult on that end.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image
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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Brainy Bunny, what a great idea to have a table for the kids right in the sanctuary! They are able to be with the adults while at the same time learning to keep themselves quietly occupied. Thanks for sharing!

      homesteadbound, we call my son ‘Mr. Mayor’ because of that smile! :) He wins many people over just by smiling. I like your idea about the hand-held vacuum for easy cleanup! Our church actually has one of those ready for parents who might need to tidy up before leaving the service. Our minister likes to use the example of the Boy Scouts who always leave a campsite even tidier than they found it. ;) Thanks for reading and commenting!

      epatera , yeah, some nurseries can be chaotic, especially if there are many little kids in it. I’m glad you set clear expectations from the beginning that your kids could follow. Well done! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      alexandra-t, I’m glad your niece has a nice quiet way to keep herself entertained during a service! I try not to bring electronic games to church since I’d be mortified if it started making a ton of noise during the service, as they are apt to do… If the child is old enough to know how to keep the volume low or off, then by all means! Thanks for reading! :)

      deenahere , thanks for reading and commenting!

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      laurathegentleman 5 years ago from Chapel Hill, NC

      This is such a wonderful hub! I agree with all of your tips! I have BEEN the kid in church, bored out of my mind and told to stay quiet, and I have also been the one shushing my younger siblings in church, and seeing other young children at my church who are often loud and distracting.

      These are AWESOME tips on how to keep your kids well-behaved during a church service - or really, anywhere in public where they'd need to sit still and stay quiet! Thanks for the advice!

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      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      The adorable photo drew me in and after reading this hub I can see why it earned Hub of the Day status.

      I like the way you've addressed everyone's needs in this article - first and foremost the needs of the children by making allowances for comfortable clothing and toys/activities that will help the child stay quiet. Second, you've taken into account the needs of the other church goers by having a back-up plan for those inevitable times when your children need a break that won't disrupt the services. And third, you've taken into account your own needs by having all contingencies covered in advance which gives you the confidence to bring your kids to church.

      The same tips are also great for taking kids out to eat or to other events that require they sit still and relatively quiet.

      Voted up across the board except for funny.

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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Aw, shucks, Mom, thanks! You did teach me well, wise one. And kissing up to your son-in-law? Cute. ;) Thanks for reading! Love, Me

      kschimmel , my daughter was getting frustrated this past week when she couldn’t crawl around during Sunday School due to a longer dress, so it is a good idea to keep in mind the amount of activity your child will experience when you’re dressing her/him. Also, I completely agree with dressing a potty training child in easy on, easy off clothing! You don’t want to have an ‘accident’ because you couldn’t get their clothing off! Thanks so much for reading and sharing those tips! :)

      ChaplinSpeaks, that’s a great suggestion: if you do not already have a church, find one with a Sunday School during the adult service. Thanks for reading and sharing that tip!

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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      pstraubie48, I completely agree with you! If a child seems like he/she is not ready to go back into the service, stay out for a while longer. It only causes more of a distraction for the others if your child continues to make too much noise. That’s why I am grateful that my church has the service streamed to a TV in our Sunday School room so parents with small children can watch and listen. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Kathleen Cochran , what a great memory! I bet your mother cherished that necklace. :) Thanks so much for sharing that story!

      wonderingwoolley , you’re right; these suggestions could work at any public event. I’m glad you’re going to share this! :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      Deena 5 years ago from India

      Hai Practical Mommy,

      Congratulations .....

      Nice Picture. I love your kids very much.

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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      missolive, thanks! I’m glad you liked the hub. Enjoy your birthday weekend!! ?

      workingmomwm, I can completely relate to your story! For a while, when my daughter was still an infant and I had to take her out of the service because she was making noise, my son would very loudly repeat, “Where’s Mommy? I want my Mommy!”. It took him a while to realize I just had to take his little sister out of the sanctuary every once in a while and that I wasn’t leaving him behind. Consistency is key. I used all of my tips since my son was an infant, and it took him all of his three years to realize the ‘big kids’ stay upstairs and listen while the babies are downstairs with their mommies. ;) Thanks for reading and sharing your story!

      Melovy, I’m not gonna say! ;) Parents do need to realize how their children think and react in order to understand their needs and how to best handle situations, especially when in public. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      carteblancheiskey , apparently, many people still do! ;) Thanks for stopping by.

      amilypitt, you’re right. Parents need to be consistent about these rules for church so that the service can be a peaceful time for all. Thanks for reading and commenting!

      vistastores, glad you like the advice! Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      alexandra-t 5 years ago

      congratulations on being hub of the day! your kids are so adorable =D my niece usually brings her small electronic games console (i think its a DS lite) which keeps her occupied, quiet and entertained throughout church service. Bliss for her parents! =D

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      epatera 5 years ago from Nebraska

      Voted up! We have taken our kids to church weekly from the time they were tiny. We didn't sit in the cry room because of the chaos. Our kids knew what type of behavior we expected. The upside, when your kids learn to sit quietly at church, they can be taken almost anywhere and will behave respectfully!

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      Cindy Murdoch 5 years ago from Texas

      What a great hub! Your kids are adorable! Your son has quite a winning smile. You have lots of great ideas here. For clean-up, there are handheld chargeable vacuums that could be packed in an already over-sized bag you are probably already carrying.

      Congrats on Hub of the Day!

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      Brainy Bunny 5 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      At our synagogue, we have a table and a small bookcase at the rear of the sanctuary for small kids to play (quietly) at. That has been a lifesaver for me many a time, as my kids (now 8 and 5) have grown up spending every Saturday morning there and many Friday nights, as well. The younger kids play with puzzles or look at picture books, and it helps them stay occupied and out of trouble. (Unfortunately, we don't have enough kids to offer babysitting, so parents have to watch their own.)

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      Sarah Johnson 5 years ago from Charleston, South Carolina

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day! These are great suggestions for bringing your children into the main church service, or as other have said to any public performance. Adorable picture and nice formatting!

      If you have or are expecting young ones and do not yet have a church, I would suggest finding a church that offers children's Sunday school during the adult service. Parents can enjoy the adult message and kids have fun learning a lesson on their level.

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      Kimberly Schimmel 5 years ago from North Carolina, USA

      Your advice about comfortable clothes also applies if the children will be in a nursery classroom. Frilly dresses are cute, but toddlers get angry if they can't crawl without getting tangled up! And please, dress your potty-training children in clothes that are easy to pull up/down and to change if needed.

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      Michelle 5 years ago

      Very impressive article.You must have a wise mother from whom you have garnered such wisdom!LOL I am her mom and to say I am proud of the amazing job she is doing as a mom to my grandchildren is an understatement.Kudos to my son-in-law as well for the wonderful dad he is to the kids as well.Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!! Love,Mom

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      wonderingwoolley 5 years ago from Madison, WI

      These are great suggestions, not only for church, but for any public event. I'll definitely be sharing these tips with my sister and cousins so they can avoid these same situations. Thanks for sharing, you wrote an excellent hub!

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      Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      I grew up in small churches where my Daddy was the preacher. It didn't dawn on me until recently (almost 60 years later!) that the reason I have such vivid memories of one particular necklace of my mother's is because it was my primary entertainment during those church services (3 a week!) It also reminded me that as the wife of a small town Kansas preacher (who moonlighted as a school teacher) that was probably the only necklace she owned. It was made up of multi-colored beads in a variety of shapes and sizes. Thanks for the memories - great hub!

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      Patricia Scott 5 years ago from sunny Florida

      What parents forget about when they go to church is that children are children. They are not little adults. So expecting them to sit and 'behave' when in the adult portion of the service is for most, too much. Especially if the child has some difficulty behaving well, listening to and following directions outside of church.

      So I agree with your suggestions with this one addition...if you take a break with your child and the child does not seem ready to return do not go back in. Or, if you go in and find 'this isn't working', leave and remain outside of the sanctuary until the service ends. It is a place of worship for all...and you can worship God without hearing every word the minister says or the choir sings, through caring for your sweet child outside of the earshot of others They will thank you and you and your child will feel much less stressed. Thank you for sharing this. Congratulations on hub of the day!!!

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      Yvonne Spence 5 years ago from UK

      Congratulations on your Hub of the Day. (How many is that you’ve had now?) I love the way you encourage parents to consider things from their children’s point of view.

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      Mishael Austin Witty 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Our church has nursery/Sunday School during the church service time for children under age 5. I love that! The only problem is they have a detailed security system (which I actually do appreciate - it just takes time going through it), so if you're running late, you're going to be even later.

      One morning, we were running late, and I told my husband we could just take the girls to the church service with us. It wouldn't be a problem. LOL! I don't remember how old my youngest was at the time - maybe 6-7 months. As soon as the music stopped, she started screaming. And, mind you, my girls are loud! My oldest daughter has drowned out an entire (small) orchestra with just her "little" voice.

      So, my husband took our youngest daughter out to take care of her, and then my oldest daughter immediately started asking, "Where's Daddy-Julie?" Over and over again. I finally took her out in the hall, too. We spent the entire time out there and didn't get to participate in the service at all. We've never done that since. No matter how late we are, the girls go to the nursery!

      The ages they are now (almost 3 and 1), books and toy distractions just don't really work well for us most of the time. I'm hoping this will change by the time they get old enough to actually be expected to sit through the service with us. And our church also hands out special "bulletins" for the older kids, so they can draw, read, and do activities while the parents listen to the message. It really is a family-friendly church!

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      Marisa Hammond Olivares 5 years ago from Texas

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day!!!!

      This is a beautiful hub. You are such a wonderful mommy! These are excellent tips for parents and family members to follow.

      voted up!

    • vistastores profile image

      Hiren Modi 5 years ago from Lawrenceville, GA

      Really great advice.

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      amilypitt 5 years ago from Washington, USA

      Church is a very calm place and people come here for peace. But some time children distract this peaceful environment. Children don't understand the rule and regulation but yes if parent apply these rules then it will surely help them to keep their children calm.

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      carteblancheiskey 5 years ago

      ...people still go to church?

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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      jpcmc, I'm glad you like my tips! It can be difficult going to church with the baby, but it'll get better! :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      JP Carlos 5 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      I'm new to being a daddy and it's really difficult when going to church with the baby. Your tips are really great, prctical, simple and logical. Just like amy1oowho i think i know some other parents who will benefit from your hub.

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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      PegCole17,I'm glad you liked my advice. :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      Peg Cole 5 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Great words of advice and welcomed by those of us whose children are already grown. Yes, please pass this along!

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      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      amy1oowho, hmm... secret insert in church bulletin? Homemade bookmarks with ThePracticalMommy tips (might have to try that one!)? ;) I'm glad you like the tips! Thanks for reading and commenting!