How to Keep Your Child Quiet During Church
Taking Kids to Church
When you bring your kids to church, what do you do to help them stay quiet?
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.
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!