what to do with a crazy 1 year old during sacrament meeting?

Amelia - posted on 11/30/2009 ( 13 moms have responded )

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My son Just turned one and is drinving me crazy at church...he wants to walk up and down the aisles, i don't want to take him out into the foyer becasue i don't want him to think it's ok to misbehave bacause he gets to go play if he does. what are some activites for a one year old that would keep him occupied during sacrament meeting.

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Ingrid - posted on 11/30/2009

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My children are done with that stage and there are a few things that I learned going through it with them. First of all your expectations need to be age appropriate. Second plan ahead! Have special quiet toys that are ONLY for church, they never get to play with them otherwise. Quiet books, quiet dolls, stickers, crayons and coloring books, small cars, puzzles etc. (please no markers I have had dress clothes "marked" by little ones sitting behind me) And rotate them so they are not getting the same thing every sunday. Also reward good behaviour. Snacks should be special on sundays, everyone gives their kids cheerios, but if they get that daily at home, whats the big deal?Maybe on Sundays only it could be froot loops, apple jacks, or something that is just for church. The other thing is to discipline bad behaviour, parents are so unwilling to dicipline kids at church, because of how it "looks" but letting your kids call the shots "looks" a lot worse. When they act up they get taken away from the special snacks and toys, out of the chapel (so they won't disturb the congrgation) bring them to a boring room - not nursery, not to run in the halls, ex: Relief Society room and discipline as you would at home, (for myself they got put in a corner in a time out).

Its amazing how soon they figure out its a lot more fun to play quietly in the chapel. Good luck!

Jacqui - posted on 01/06/2010

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I definitely agree with all the things previously mentioned. Just wanted to add my two cents: when my daughter was one we had the same issue! She is a particularly active girl, which I think made our challenge a little more difficult than a lot of the other parents I knew in the ward. We actually gave up and just sat in the foyer for sacrament, but when she was 14 months and we moved, our new EQ pres gave me a great suggestion. We started using it, and miraculously our daughter was "fixed"! We started spending the greater part of sacrament in the chapel right away, and for us it only took a few weeks before we stopped having to leave at all.

Alright so the suggestion was simple: babies need to move! So if she's whining to get out of the pew and run around, take her into the hallway, do the circuit ONE time, and go back into the chapel. It gets the wiggles out but it's such a short time that you avoid the issue of teaching them that they can play in the halls during sacrament. When she was younger we sometimes would have to go do the hall circuit with her 3 or 4 times, so my husband and I just took turns. Anyway, it worked really well for us. And I'm glad I'm not a "hallway mom", because when you spend zero time participating in the spirit of the meeting week after week, it gets so discouraging!

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EHChgo - posted on 11/03/2011

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Quiet book you make at home from fabrics, zippers, shapes, felt, velcro, stuff like that. Something that will keep him busy. My son was a terror back then. He is special needs though and now 14 and I can't get him up in the morning

[deleted account]

I didn't read the other replies, so I don't know if this is going to sound terrible......but I feed my daughter during Sacrament. Ours meetings are backwards, with Sacrament being last, so by then she is getting hungry. I feed her Cheerios and other little snacks which helps keep her in our row, as I won't let her take the snacks with her when she walks off. Up until recently she was afraid of stairs, so we sat upstairs in the balcony section so that she wouldn't go far. She would freeze as soon as she got near the stairs. But now she is learning to do stairs, so I think we will be sitting in the lower area from now on..... :( It's not easy. I'm going to make a picture book sometime this week with pictures of our family. Hopefully that will help keep her interest. It's not easy. Oh wait, i already said that. LOL

Amanda - posted on 02/06/2010

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I have done the same thing as Ingrid. A while back I got some canvas bags and put their names on them and that is their Sunday bags. There are books and crayons and coloring books that they only see on Sundays. We have snacks as well and as they do act up sometimes, it is far less because it is like new toys each week. I also sit on the side benches (if possible) to let them get down for a short time. Good luck, I am not anywhere near done with this stage but I hope this helps.

[deleted account]

You are doing the right thing trying to teach him to stay in church. It will be worth the pay off to teach him. Be consistent. It can be done because my daughter had the same frustration a few years back. Maybe you can make him a church book with pictures of himself and family members all pertaining to church. "See Johnny sitting quiet at church" etc and only give him the special book on Sundays during church. Once he is in the nursery it will help a bit more because it will break up the 3 hour break. Those lacing cards are good too. Any quiet toy. Just don't give up. Before you know it, they will be teenagers. and then we'll be having another conversation! Oh, and when they are sitting pretty good compliment them every so many minutes. "Johnny, you are being so good staying in church" compliments go way farther than negative remarks.

Annalee - posted on 01/23/2010

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We made our own quiet books out of t he gospel art kit, some plastic page sleeves and a 3 ring binder. My kids could look at the pictures or sit in a boring classroom. When my oldest was 18 months old, Her dad went to take her out during a testimony meeting and she yelled "Pray for me! Pray I don't get a spanking!" and no she didn't get spanked, she just needed a diaper change. We don't spank our kids either. We had her great grandma living with us and she always threatened to spank her bottom if she did something bad.

Chelsey - posted on 01/22/2010

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I've seen plenty of moms bring in those quiet books..the cloth ones that have all sorts of stuff for them to play with. Just bring a few toys he likes that are quiet and tell him he can play with them, but only in this area, in front of you on the floor.

Linda - posted on 01/22/2010

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A one year old is still very much a baby. I know we don't like to take them out, but some times we must. But he needs to learn that when he is taken out, it's not all that much fun. Do you take things for him to do, like a quite book, story books, crayons, some cherrios or. ? When he is not allowed to walk the aisles, offer him somthing else to do. If it doesn't work, take him out, but don't let him run all over the foyer. Set limits as to where he can be. If he makes a scene, remove him by taking him out to the car. As they get older, they can learn that if they go out, they have to sit with there arms folded. or be removed to the car. Soon they learn its more fun to play quite in the chapel, then sit with there arms folded. But a baby that has just turned one (in my opinion should not be made to sit with their amrs folded. (This worked for me)

Mariah - posted on 01/10/2010

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I also have the loud child issue. It is hard. We have had some success with practicing whispering at home. But my Noah is still pretty loud. I decided that as long as he is not yelling, but just talking I am not going to worry about it. He seems genuinely confused when I tell him to be quiet so I know he isn't being loud on purpose. It is hard to explain to a little tyke.

As far as not benefitting from Sacrament meeting......a friend of mine said it best. She told me that the reason we take our babies to Sacrament meeting, and for that matter church at all, is to teach them by example. We may not get to hear the talks, but we do get the blessings of obedience. And our children learn that church is where our family belongs. Eventually we will be able to listen to the talks again right.

Sara - posted on 01/10/2010

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I am having the same issue as Amelia plus another issue.. SOOO issue #1...Our 16 month old just stated walking and now walks everywhere. Everywhere means he wants to walk up and down the isles in the Chapel. We sat on the side row and he liked that for the first bit then wanted out.

Then issue #2...our 2 year old...she is very busy and loud. I can't get her to understand QUIET or SHHH or even WHISPER. There are times during the prayer that she will yell out (when she heard Amen) AMEN ok lets sing then starts singing twinkle little star. I try to quiet her and she gets mad. There are times I take her and put her in time out but tat doesn't seem o help. She is at the age where she defies ANYTHING you ask her to do. If I ask her to do something like share in Sacrament Meeting she either takes away what she is supposed to be sharing, throws it across the bench, or lays across the whole tablet so no one can color. I get so frustrated.

Please help. I don't ever feel that I am benefiting from Sacrament Meeting. Any suggestions?

Mariah - posted on 01/10/2010

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When I have to take my son (who is now 3) out into the foyer, he gets a time out. No playing. I have told him since he was about a year old, that he can play quietly in the chapel, but he doesn't get to play in the hall. That way he is rewarded when we can stay in the chapel. I am starting to do the same thing with my 9 month old. It seems to work fairly well.

Amy - posted on 12/03/2009

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Treats are always good and I try to sit on the side pews so that my sons (ages 3 & 18 months) can walk along the bench. I also have book with flaps, coloring books and a flannel board with cut out flannel pictures that they can make a picture with. I'm pretty sure you can find those at desert book. I also have folded the sacrament program into different oragami shapes. When he gets a little older try the boards with laces.

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