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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My DH and I have always attended church on Sundays, and it is something we enjoy doing with our DD, too. She just turned one, and is a bundle of energy. At church, she likes to talk and walk around. The sounds that she's making are happy ones and not too distracting, but they can sometimes get a little loud. We're just wondering what other parent's with energetic DCs do. Do you attend seperate services, or do you just try to keep your DC realtively quiet? Also, do you have any suggestions about silent activities for a one year-old? We bring some toys and books with us, but they are not nearly as interesting as the folks around us :LOL . Folks are generally very receptive to her (smiling and waving back at her, etc.) but I'm always worried that someone's giving us the evil eye. TIA!
 

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We have thought about this, and kind of went through a trial run when we attended my DH's godson's first communion a month ago. At the time joshua was about 14 mo old, he lasted about 15 min into the ceremony, before getting so restless that I basically spent the rest of the time with him (and the rest of the toddlers, lol) out in the lobby where he ran around and chased all the other kids. He wasn't really noisy (now he is, b/c he's talking a lot), but he was running around like crazy and I would not have been able to let him do that during the ceremony. I know some churchs have childcare, but I guess I am still too nervous to leave him yet. He would probably do ok. I think it also depends on the makeup of the ppl in your church... are they older folks or younger families? That could have a lot to do with their attitudes towards little children making some noise or running around. I have a friend who says there is one particalarly nasty older woman that complains loudly when my friend's DD (who is about 18 mo old) makes any noise or anything like that. Some churches are more open to children than others, some may try to pressure you into having you drop off your child in the childcare center if they have one.
 

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Not sure how much help I will be as I'm Pagan and my worship circle is much smaller than the average congregation but....<br><br>
We have always taken dd to circle, give her a few neat objects and try to keep her pretty occupied. However, she likes to talk and she does get loud. Generally when she starts talking everyone "agrees" with her ("that's right!" "yes, ma'am!", etc).<br><br>
More importantly, if someone in a Christian church gives you the evil eye for having your daughter with you, maybe you could remind them of Christ's thoughts on children... something along the lines of "bring the children unto me"? I don't know the exact passage, but I do remember that particular story from Bible study. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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yes & if DS gets restless, we join the other mom/dads in the back with their restless kids <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> :LOL<br><br>
most of all the other church-goers (at my place) get a chuckle over the kids :LOL<br>
kids are new life in your church & should be welcomed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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We have a nursery at our church so I keep the kiddos in there generally and then go back when paged to bf etc. AJ is just about to go into the 2yo class and the get to sing and color and such in there.
 

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We have a soundproof "cuddle room" in the back of the sanctuary... you can see and hear the service, but they can't hear you. So we just hang out in there. I don't particularly like doing the nursery thing, though that's available to us, too. We may start attempting that when Z is closer to 2. (T is in Children's RE.)
 

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every church I've been to has a nursery....but I will probably end up staying back there when my ds turns 1 cuz he'll scream his head off when I leave him.
 

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Dd has been to many different services since she was born - and we have always been welcome. I usually carry a survival kit of a couple of favourite distractions - right now she loves her bath toys!!! - and if she gets hungry she'll nurse. Sometimes we have to get up and walk around for a bit, but it's really no big deal.<br><br>
She adores the singing and really gets quite excited, which other people seem to smile at!
 

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My little lady is two now, but she's been attending church every week since she was just two weeks old. Our church does not have a nursery, so all three kids are with me during every service. Here are some things we do:<br><br>
- have lots of snacks, especially "treats" that they don't get on a day to day basis<br><br>
- have a bag of toys that only go to church. I actually have a bag that I leave at church - it sits under "our" pew, that way the toys are interesting. In our bag are coloring book and crayons, magnetic letters (the magnets are useless, but we like to sort them by colors, line them up, spell her name, etc.), some small cheap plastic farm animals, a small magna doodle, a small tic tac toe game...Hmmm - I know there are other things in there, but those are the only ones coming to mind.<br><br>
- We also have file folder games. Basically they are matching games that I colored, cut out, laminated, and mounted to file folders. There is one where you match the Noah's Ark animals, a food one, one with numbers, one with colors, etc. These took a while to put together, but they've been worth every minute I spent working on them. Again, these live in the car, so they are only brought out for church or other "quiet" places where I want to keep her busy. If anyone is interested in a copy of these games, please feel free to PM me.<br><br>
Honestly, it is a lot of work taking babies to church. But to me it is worth it. Now, at two, my daughter is attending Sunday School, she has learned a couple of simple prayers, and she loves to shout out Amen after the hymns. I am also a firm believer in the fact that they learn by being there - even when you don't think they are paying attention they are - and they will only learn to behave at church if they are taken on a regular basis. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the ideas and the reaffirmation that it's okay for her to be with us at church. I agree that being there helps her learn how to behave in those types of social situations. Our church doesn't have a cuddle room, and I know that dd wouldn't stay in a nursery without us (and I wouldn't want her to, anyhow). I really like going to church as a family, and would like to continue to do so. Thanks again for the suggestions!<br><br>
CryPixie83, I love your idea about reminding any nay sayers how much Jesus loved children. I'll be sure to remember that one! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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we bring our little guy-9.5 mo- he can be very loud, however everybody just loves him. just this past week he was especially loud and rambunctious(he's learning to walk). Dh and I were very worried he was bothering everyone and we were going to hear about it after church. This lady came up to us after church, that we have never met, she introduced herself and told us she had to tell us something, we braced for the worst- then she said how much she enjoyed seeing our little guy grow up and don't worry about the noise! That made our day! Then a couple other people told us how they liked hearing him, better a loud baby than a quiet one. One couple also told us that we shouldn't worry about him bothering everybody because he has his own fanclub. He stands up in the pew and faces everyone and talks(we sit in the front- so he can see everything better and hopefully be more entertained)- especially when it gets quiet. So, think positive. I figure he won't learn to behave in church if he doesn't go.
 

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Our dd has attended services with us since she was 5 weeks old. She is now 8 months old and really, REALLY likes to 'talk' along with the canters, choir, and priest. We do have a nursery but it is not an option until our dd is 9 months old (church rule), but I seriously doubt we will use it then. When we first began bringing her to liturgy, I was so concerned about every noise she was making. One Sunday after she made a few squeaks, I took her out and planned on staying outside with her when the priest's wife (we are orthodox) saw us outside and brought us back in to hear the service. Thankfully, our parish is a VERY child friendly one, and the priest has even been known to stop during the middle of liturgy when the babes are being especially vocal to say a special blessing over them (to the effect of, if they are being noisy, they are breathing, be thankful!). We have found lately that dd is very entertained by all of the activity at the front of the church, so rather than sit at the back as I'm more prone to do (easy escape), we sit where she can actually see everything that is happening. It has made life a bit easier on Sunday's! Good luck finding the route that works for you.
 

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We go to an extremely child friendly catholic church. There is not a nursery because our priest believes that church is a family activity. There are two services and the 11:00 one is kid friendly. There are always kids talking and wandering around.
 

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We always take our 6 mo to chuch with us. Just recently we put him in the nursery so he could play. But even if we didn't have the nursery I would take him. Children shouldn't be hidden...contrary to that an OLD saying..."children should be seen and not heard" children should be a part of things. This is how they learn to act (learning to sit quietly), they learn from you. As for anyone who would give an evil look, the Bible is quite clear that children should not be turned away from the Lord.
 

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<div style="font-style:italic;">We always take our 6 mo to chuch with us. Just recently we put him in the nursery so he could play. But even if we didn't have the nursery I would take him. Children shouldn't be hidden...contrary to that an OLD saying..."children should be seen and not heard" children should be a part of things. This is how they learn to act (learning to sit quietly), they learn from you. As for anyone who would give an evil look, the Bible is quite clear that children should not be turned away from the Lord.</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br>
Well-spoken, mama!
 

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Although I won't be much help, here is my 2 cents:<br><br>
The church I came from was filled with "well-behaved" children and babies who sat quietly in uncomfortable pews next to their 5 or so siblings and parents. Occasionally, one of them would make a peep, but usually they were sleeping, sitting quietly and "taking notes" or drawing or something. I left that church for a lot of reasons that are completely unrelated, but that it hat I thought kids should be like at church...<br><br>
To give you an idea of the atmosphere of our current church: Our Sunday (night) gathering is held in the "living room", a giant room with many couches and comfy chairs (and end tables with candles and communion) set up in a loose circle throughout. The idea is that it is God's house, and therefore it should be welcoming, as God welcomes us into his family.<br><br>
When I first started attending this church, I was a little distracted by the kids, who were constantly interacting with any adult who would give them attention. I found out later that the way kids are "handled" is intentional: the kids learn about God by our interactions with them. So... at our church kids are encouraged to roam around and be kids. They make noise. They sit with strangers. They sometimes poke at the bread on the tables, or play with the communion cups. Once in awhile, Micha (an almost 2 year-old) will wander to his daddy who is playing guitar and singing some of our worship songs, or sit on the lap of the piano player during a song. As I mentioned, there are candles on some of the end tables around the room... recently a mom got up to tell us her friendly son Toby had just learned to walk, and asked everyone to just watch him around the candles if he came around them. So everyone at my church is very open and relaxed about kids (which, to me, is Christ-like). I love my church. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ssolberg99</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">We always take our 6 mo to chuch with us. Just recently we put him in the nursery so he could play. But even if we didn't have the nursery I would take him. Children shouldn't be hidden...contrary to that an OLD saying..."children should be seen and not heard" children should be a part of things. This is how they learn to act (learning to sit quietly), they learn from you. As for anyone who would give an evil look, the Bible is quite clear that children should not be turned away from the Lord.</div>
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Oh, I love what you said... Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me"<br>
We do have a nursery where my dd goes during the service. But I am explicit to them that if she's fussy, not to let her cry for more than 5 minutes (I think their usual rule is 20 min.) So, she does come into the service with us sometimes, and the people around us are very supportive. We do leave if she gets too rambunctious, but nobody has ever been anything but wonderful to us.
 

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We bring our 11 mo dd to church with us every week. She is mostly quiet due to breastfeeding, books, food to snack on and quiet toys. It's really important to us that she's there with us. Most of the congregation is supportive and encouraging, though we have had one nasty comment.
 
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