How to get 2 toddlers to sit still and be quiet in church????

Sara - posted on 11/20/2008 ( 9 moms have responded )

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It's been 3 weeks of 3 services a week and I can't get my 2 year old to be quiet. We bring things for him to do but he doesn't know how to whisper. My 3 year old does good when brother isn't there but the little one won't stay in the nursery anymore. It's not getting any better as time goes by. Do I need to work on them being quiet and sitting still at home? If so, what;s the best plan of action?

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Michelle - posted on 11/20/2008

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Sara, We just moved out of that stage with our 2 yr old. She would NOT go to the nursery she would scream so loud you could hear her in the sancutary even. We got some very good advice from a preschool teacher on it. She told us to make sure we don't just sneak out. We need to be sure to tell her we're going to worship etc... and that we will be back soon. Then she said don't hang around leave quickly. The first few times will be tough...probably tougher on you than on the kids. My daughter loves to be a part of the singing and music. We now have a hard time getting her to sit for that she begs to go to the nursery! I would've never thought a few months ago that we'd ever get to that point. I would also leave on Sundays so frustrated with not being able to really experience the sermon and or worship and praise much because I was so busy trying to take care of her. Of course our pastor and others in the church told us not to worry that they love hearing the kids. She is the only young child in our church so yes I know they love to hear it but it was hard on me as well. I will definitely keep you in my prayers. I know many of us have been in your shoes. I hope this can help a little bit. God Bless!

Jennifer - posted on 11/20/2008

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You not only will survive it, Sara, you will look back on it fondly. ;-) Hard to believe now, I know. Next Sunday, try this: When your little guy starts wiggling and making noise, STOP. Immediately examine your emotions. Are you embarrassed? Are you worried about what others are thinking of you and your family? (Those are completely normal emotions btw) If you determine that yes, that is what you are feeling. Let it go. Give it to God, right then and there.

Please don't fret that your son will inhibit anyone from finding Jesus. God is in control. He will more likely use that son of your to bring someone closer!

Sara - posted on 11/20/2008

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Thanks for helping me realize I'm not the only one. Sunday and last night were so bad I really needed to vent my frustrations! It's just really hard when you are the assistant pastor's wife and kids and you live in a glass house! Oh well.....I just hope I survive the next few years.

Kelly - posted on 11/20/2008

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i just read your post in response to the others - My mom told me this and i stick with it. When our children we babies. Did we run out of church cause they were crying and others were staring??? Well i didnt! God wants children in church just as much as adults. Amazingly there being loud is because they are children. Church is meant to praise and thank God. There is a differnce between a loud child and a diobiedient child. I sounds like you a have a 2year old thats all. Its not up to others to judge you that is Gods job. i think God is sad that your so sad about the noise your children make. When people at my church approach me before they even say anything i let them know its her way of praising God and that we are working on our vocal levels. Its all you can do until the children gets old enough to actually understand whats happening.!

Kelly - posted on 11/20/2008

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We are experiencing the same thing and have been using the finger to the llips with a gentle shhh! of course she does it much louder but since we started this a couple months ago she is starting to understand quiet! I have repeatedly told her we need to be quiet in church, so as time went on she would associate church as a quiet place. I bring a bag of cherrios and she has a pencil and those attendance sheets and envolopes at the pews she take one of each and my bulletin and colors. I have learned to not be picky about constantly reminding her to be quiet i now just put my finger to my lips. she stands on the floor and uses the seat to color on her papers. This methods seemed like it would work at first but then she final started understanding. As with everything 2 year olds need time to learn it and us moms need to remember to be patient and not so picky, well at least i needed to remember that. I hope this helps a little for you!

Marci - posted on 11/20/2008

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when i read your post, it was as if i had written it myself. i also have a 2 year old boy. he loves going to church, but has a loud voice. when we sing, he wants to sing, but his singing is more like, jiberish loud yelling. he wants to do everything we do, if he is coloring and we stand, hes gotta stop and make sure he is also standing. he also will not stay in the nursery...cries hysterically. we also attend an adult sunday school for an hour before our church service and that is when we take our children to the nursery. but we end up just taking him with us. even though its just for adults...we try to keep him quiet. he is in no way being naughty. and i believe that most people have been there or know how it is, so i dont feel too badly about it. at one time our pastor told us that he would rather have the children there, and making noise than have no children there. and that is how i feel. if we have to take our children to the adult sunday school, thats fine, at least we are there. one time we did just leave him at the nursery for the hour we were in adult sunday school and he was still crying hysterically when we came back and hour later. there was nothing, that anyone could do to make him stop. so instead of having it be a bad experience for any of us, we just take him with us. even one night at my thursday night womans revival class, i ended up taking him for a little while. my husband was running late getting home so i had to take him, but he would not stay at the nursery. so he just sat quietly on my lap til my husband got there. and no one seemed to mind. as i said, i think most people are very understanding at church and if not...all you can do is say you are sorry. i dont have any advice for you...just thought i would share my own story with you to let you know that you are not alone. ill be watching out if anyone has some advice. hang in there.

Sara - posted on 11/20/2008

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Thank you Jennifer and Paige for your comments. We do have a nursery, but the last month or so he will not stay in there. He screams until he throws up and won't settle down. My husband and I are very involved in the service (singing, playing instruments) so it's hard to get a routine down. I know it's just a phase he's going thru but I'm tired of leaving church crying and frustrated. Everyone at church is very supportive but sometimes I get tired of them saying "it'll get better" "I remember those days" and so on. I'm just so concerned that someone won't get saved or right with God because my kids are a distraction. Please pray!!!!

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I ve been there!! He is 5 now! We go to a small church so when he is loud everyone could hear him very stessful for mom and very hard to listen to the message. I would really try ro get him to stay in the nursery. Try rewards or find a good teacher that will help you through this. sometimes they just need to cry..he is learning to control you mom;) we would do snacks and juice if he had to stay up front, we still do at times if there is no sunday school. Maybe place games at home where u need to whisper make it fun and you can always give him a reward if he is good. Be patient it will get better I promise. And stop worring what everyone else thinks they all had kids at one time! Good luck

Jennifer - posted on 11/20/2008

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Oh Sara! I giggled when I read this (sorry!) but I have so been there. :-) I wish I had the secret solution for you, but I don't. At that age, some children will never be able to sit quietly the full length of service. Is there any way you can have him there for praise & worship and then as long as he can be quiet, then take him to the nursery? Does your church have a room that is not for babies that he could play in?

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