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Children in church

I am just curious, how accepting is your church of families with young children?

I really like our church right now (though I do disagree with some individuals on personal opinions). But the church we used to attend (which fit our beliefs the best) was not very accepting of young children. The cry room (for babies and toddler) was way too small and the speaker was broken for over 2 years (and despite repeated requests, was never fixed), so anyone in there is completely cut off from the service. And where our new church laughs off the little babbles and shrieks from the children too young for Sunday school, the members of our old church would criticize and scold parents with small children. We felt pushed out of the church because of this behavior.


Asked by momof3inTN at 8:01 AM on Jul. 29, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

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Answers (12)
  • even JC addressed this issue! ''let the little children come to me, do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.'' (matthew 19:14)
    i agree, children should be taught to behave and be respectful of others, in any public setting (not just church). however, noisy or not, new parent or old, they are still children. i think it says a great deal about a person's heart how they handle these situations, especially at a church service. put yourself in God's place, as the parent, and you as the noisy, unbehaved would he handle it? would he fault you for doing what is natural, or untaught? no, He would still love you, and welcome you in.
    i think, nanny, as an experienced mother, perhaps you should offer to 'help' this family of 'horribly behaved children', rather than proudly put up with the distraction. they might welcome your help, surely more than your disapproving glances.

    Answer by dullscissors at 10:41 AM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • my church loves children of all ages. They feel strongly in investing their time on them bc they will be our future. They have a big nursery for all ages..even infants. After 5 years old they have a really fun bible school that the kids go to afterward. but it is still okay to bring any age child in with you for worship and all.. and they even encourage 2 year olds and up for worship.. my son is 4 and he sees it has a huge party lol..

    Answer by midnight11287 at 8:08 AM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • I am Catholic, and i know all about cry rooms, i told my Priest after being stuffed into that room because my DD had colic, that i would be praying in my own home, on Sunday's, and that i never felt so alone in the house of God, he tried to say that others will be disturbed and i laughed, im sure 9/10ths of that church have had children. I told him i would be back in the church once she was 4-5. HE told me to my face that a real Catholic does not leave the church for that long, i told him a REAL Catholic does not lock crying babies in a room with other crying babies and make church misrable for his parishoners. I'm done, i love and belive in God but He will love me just as much praying at home, with my daughter screaming so lovingly beside me as he would in church.

    Answer by smilelovesmile at 8:08 AM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • My church family is very understanding. You have the option to bring them in church with you or bring them to the nursery or children's church.

    Answer by MsHouseWife at 10:59 AM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • my home church expects the children to attend church with the parents. sunday school is for everyone after church. i tried to find a church when i moved down here (from nj to md) and they looked down on children in the service very much so and expected me to leave my sons in the nursery even when it was our first sunday. i don't like that at all and i don't think it's a very christian-like view on children

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 8:05 AM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • my church has nursary and sunday school they have it while the pastor is preaching. If it wasn't for that we probably wouldn't go to church lol. My kids does not and will not sit through service. I can't get my kids to sit for more than 10 minutes lol. Like this week my Aunt is coming from Flordia we are all going to my grandmas church and they don't have a nursary there (I have a 2.5 year old) and then my 5 year old the class she would go to comes up half way through to sit the rest of the way and she wont sit either so DH is watching them so I can go to my grandmas church, The reason I am going is because my aunt is coming up today at 6 then going back Sunday at 3:30 so I want to say bye to her before she goes back.

    Answer by mommy5409 at 8:11 AM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • smilelovessmile - sounds similar to us. We went to church one Sunday (after leaving for almost 6 months because we felt pushed out because of our youngest), our daughter was sitting with us, babbling quietly while coloring in her coloring book. We were in the next to last row. The woman behind us raised a stink and said, loudly, "I can't HEAR over her!" I glared at her and took my daughter out to play in front of the church. My husband came out a minute later and said, "I told her off. I told her we haven't been here in 6 months because of people like her." We haven't been back since.

    Our present church however, there is a newborn. He was just a-screamin' out one Sunday and the mom (a new mom, she's still learning the technique) was having a little trouble stepping out for a minute. The pastor looked up and said, in the middle of his sermon, "See! Even he agrees!" We all broke out laughing. What a change from the old church.

    Comment by momof3inTN (original poster) at 8:14 AM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • At our church, parents are given the option of leaving children in the nursery(up to age 4) or bringing them into the service. There are parents who do it both ways. As a parent and a grandparent, I love to see little children in worship. We take ours, but they are made to behave. When they get loud, they are either shushed or they are taken out, disciplined, and brought back into the service. Normal for children to have to learn to be quiet in church. What I do have a problem with are the parents to choose to bring their undisciplined children into church and think that everyone else is supposed to ignore their noisy children. That's a whole different matter. My family has sat all summer near such a family in worship. They are horribly behaved and very distracting. We have chosen to continue to sit near them because we would rather do that than have them distracting visitors to our church. I can see this from both sides!

    Answer by NannyB. at 8:15 AM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • The UU fellowship that I attend had made the commitment years before to become a family welcoming church. Everyone is very much involved with the children activities and a lot of effort is spent to ensure that children have a place in the church. Socially, everyone, even the elders are very tolerant of children, especially during service. Which I learned the hard way, when my three year old got up from the children's focus to admire the large tapestry behind the podium. No one got upset or interrupted the service but everyone was more involved in my dd's delight of the tapestry as I learned later. I was still mortified. Everyone just rolls with it.


    Answer by isabellalecour at 10:49 AM on Jul. 29, 2010

  • isabellalecour - Every UU church is different. The local UU church is where the incident in my previous reply took place. But then, they aren't very welcoming to everyone either. I have known many who have gone for a few services and then stopped going because of the cliques in the church. There really isn't a group for the newcomers. There was actually a mass exodus from the church when we left as well. Many families with small children left and are now attending another church (a much more family-friendly and welcoming church). Despite telling the pastor and others our exact reasoning for leaving, very little has been done to rectify the problem in the church. They may as well have a sign on the door that says, "Families with small children need not enter unless 1 parent and young children hide in the tiny nursery and be cut off from the service entire."

    Comment by momof3inTN (original poster) at 11:27 AM on Jul. 29, 2010