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Help with kids behavior in church

My children (4 and 6) complain they are too tired to stand in church and complain "when are we going to leave" after the first 30 minutes. I have a hard time getting them to stop because I am distracted by my youngest child (who just turned 2). My church does not have a children's service or children's room. My husband helps a little but it seems we can't get them to focus unless my husband takes our youngest outside and I have one child on each side of me. Any ideas on what to do? I thought about just leaving my husband and youngest at home but I want us to go to church as a family.


Asked by Anonymous at 1:28 PM on Sep. 20, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (24)
  • IMO, it would be wrong to exclude your children from something that is so much a part of your life. I'm Catholic and if you're like me, your Faith is included and some how intertwined with pretty much everything you do. How can you possible not include them in that? Just because you are taking them to Mass with you as a family does not mean that you are "forcing" them to go as so many people seem to think, you are including them in something that is important to you and something that can be a very beautiful and fulfilling thing. They may just be a little too young to understand the "why's" of it all and that could be part of the issue. I think just give them a little more time and they will start following along better. There are also books like "Mass For Children" that you can get to read to them that explains why we do what we do when we do it, lol, in a way they can understand and that might be helpful. Peace be with you!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:26 AM on Sep. 21, 2009

  • Well, i personally think it is wrong to force anyone of any age to go to church or any other religious function if they do not like it.
    However, maybe you should consider becoming the children's Sunday school teacher. It would make it more interesting and fun for your kids and other kids that come to the service and you'd be able to teach the word of God which in turn my deepen your own understanding.

    Answer by outstandingLove at 1:34 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • Why would a 4 and 6 year old children be demanded to attend the sermon specially if you feel they are disrupting the rest of the people attending.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:35 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • first of all why would you but a child threw that put yourself in there shoes and your the child and there the parents how would you feel you can teach them at home if they are doing that i would never but my child threw that

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:38 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • my 2 yr old daughter does not go to church for that reason and i willl teach her my way today in churches people are mean they do not want any kids there that is fine by me i can teach my daughter my way

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:40 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • You have a no win situation here, kids will be kids no matter where they are, maybe you should wait for them to be a little older to do the "all family" thing,

    Answer by older at 1:42 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • Ignore the other comments. They are trying to get their way. have you tried positive reinforcement? If they behave, mainly quiet and respective they will get treat after church. if not then they will have to sit quietly at home for a while to think about how they not only were disrespecting you, but God and everyone else. If you can get them to behave in Church they will behave in other places. I also have found that when you get the oldest in line the rest will follow.


    Answer by oldermomof5 at 1:47 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • They ARE old enough to know and act appropriately. However, a church service is fairly long, have to tried taking some paper and color crayons for them to play with? Or you could do what my father used to do, he would sit at one end, my mother at the other with us kids in the middle. He would drape his arm across the back of the pew and if one of us acted up, he would thump us on the head. Correct or not, it did work (and he rarely actually had to, usually the threat of it was enough for us to be good) The church I want to attend (if I can find a ride for DS and myself) does not do a separate area for kids either. They expect the kids to be quiet and respectful but not necessarily paying attention, so any quiet task is appropriate for them to do. There is also usually more than enough other people around who are willing to help if you try to make friends with them.

    Answer by auroura at 1:49 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • What I would consider is what are they learning? You can make it a lesson in behaving in public, but that is awfully tiring to have to deal with it every week. You are most likely to be turning them against church. I would suggest either finding a church with children's services or finding a babysitter for them for Sunday mornings. It might be even better if you stay home on Sunday and share scriptures as a family. I did not take my children to church, except VBS and special events until they were 10 years old. After that they could go when they wished but never had to go. We studied at home as a family and kept church for the adults and older children. Now they feel far more attached to the church than their friends their own age do because they feel like it is THEIR church and their choice.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:12 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

  • I am not a church-goer so I never had to deal with this, but from a simple parenting perspective, I agree with anon 2:12. As I understand it sermons are aimed at adults, with adult language & adult themes. Kids can't get anything from it. Why subject them to an hour of boredom with no benefit for them? Sure kids should learn to be quiet & respectful in public. But all the churches around here have sermons that last 60 to 90 min. that is way to long for a 4 yr old & even pretty long for a 6 yr old to have to sit through every week. If you want your child to learn your religion from a church, I would definitely find one that has children's services for them to attend.


    Answer by nysa00 at 2:23 PM on Sep. 20, 2009

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