My son is very, very active with very few inhibitions and he tends to be into everything and he has a very short attention span. To keep him more quiet and attentive in church, I have encouraged him to breastfeed extensively right in the service. About a month ago I got an anomynous complaint about my breastfeeding him in church (which is interesting since I've been going his whole life and NEVER made a point to take him out just to breastfeed). There is really no good place to take Billy in this church at this stage of his life since he's so active and noisy and into everything, and I had noticed that some people seem annoyed at him when I have him in the fellowship hall (there's constantly people in and out for the bathroom), so I've started taking him to another church where they have a nursury filled with toys he loves, and they have a Sunday School class geared just to little ones like him, so of course he loves it and does very well there. The trouble is, I seriously miss my friends at my regular church. We were back one time since the complaint, though I came late. Billy actually did fairly well that day, not even nursing during the time we were there and not getting TOO rambunctious. Of the three times I've taken him to the other church there was one Sunday he had to go to the nursury maybe 15-20 minutes, one Sunday where he stayed in the worship service the entire time and then went to his Sunday School class, and another service where he asked to, and actually needed to, go to the nursury for nearly all of the worship service. In his defence I will say that he loves Jesus and he's listening even as he plays, crawls and walks (they have the worship service piped right into the nursery so he really doesn't miss a thing in there, he's just not where he's getting bored and making others uncomfortable). But I miss my friends terribly. Once he's three, he could at least in theory go to Sunday School at my usual church though at this point I can hardly imagine him walking nicely, staying in line, paying attention long enough, coloring, pasting, etc, etc.
I have always taken the approach of giving him lots of learning opportunities and even helping him learn if he was eager to, but never forcing it on him. He didn't even really have an interest in books until he was two (and almost 0 attention span ) , and I didn't push him. Now he will look at pictures and listen to him read to him a few minutes at a time but he has little interest in scribbling or coloring. My question is, if I don't make him learn how to behave in public, when will he learn? I'm pretty sure he WILL learn at some point because even now there's many times I can instruct him to walk, not run, use a soft voice, play quietly next to me, etc and he listens and actually does it. Obviously there's also many times when he seemingly can't focus. Since he's just very immature and not actually "bad" I really don't want to impose consequences either. At this rate and with my appoach, when will he stop being such a big baby? By his third birthday only six months away as I hope? Is it time to change my approach and become more firm even though he is almost never rebellious, is always so cheerful and in general is a wonderful little boy just very immature? Thoughts or personal experiences please! Thanks for reading.