Bringing kids to church

[deleted account] ( 40 moms have responded )

Hi! My husband and I have a 22 month old, and go to church every Sunday. It is important to up to bring our kids up Catholic, and go to church. (we are expecting baby 2 in June). Our little guy is usually very well behaved around strangers and at home (for the most part) and not so good in church. We bring books, quiet toys, and rasins, etc. to keep him entertained. However, he always gets so restless! One of us is always in the entrance way with him. We don't have a cry room at our church, just a nice big entrance area, where they suggest parents take their restless children. We always sit in the back of church too, as to not bother other people there. This last week this 80 year old lady was sitting in the last pew, just over from us. When our son started acting up, she was obviously very irritated, and started sighing heavily. (How rude!) So, my husband and son spent most of the mass away from me. It was frustrating, and that lady should have sat up closer! :)

Any suggestions on what to do with my almost 2 yr old in church? How can we get him to behave better?

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Brittany - posted on 07/03/2012

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In a church without a cry room, we often become embarrassed when our children start to act up. A lot of people forget that they were once a 2 year old who didn't want to sit still and probably caused those same problems for their own parents. My best advice is this:
1) Have a little snack and some water for him. (It keeps their mouths busy and gives them something to focus on)
2) I bought my son 'The Mass Book For Children'. He thought it was awesome because he had a book just like mommy. He can't read it, but there are lots of pictures that help them to follow along durimg Mass.
3) So then I had to figure out what to do during the homily. Go to catholicmom.com They have awesome coloring pages that go along with the gospel. That way while the priest is talking about the Gospel, your son is coloring a picture about it.
Every kid is different and different things work for different people. Don't worry about other people when your child acts up in church. They will deal. You have enough to worry about without having to deal with rude people. Taking young children to Mass is not always easy and most people realize that.
God Bless and never give up.

Stacie - posted on 06/26/2009

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I just want to say that I think it is so wonderful to know that there are so many other parents out there who even bother taking their young ones to church. We have a 3 1/2 and a 1 year old and have taken them both to church from the very beginning. So many people "fall away" for whatever reason and don't come back until their kids are ready for CCD. My oldest was held to a very strict standard because we go to church with my husband's parents who think that children are little play things. So he had to sit only with Mommy and Daddy and no one else, no matter what during church. For him... I think this really helped him learn what we expected of him, for the grandparents, it also helped them learn what kind of behavior we will tolerate. My younger son is a little louder and more forceful and so has been allowed at a much younger age to sit with his Papa (my oldest generally sits with his Nana), but we still expect, appropriately for their ages, them to behave and keep their voices down.

We sit in the front and always have. It's where I sat a young child so I just naturally levitate that way. However, even at young ages, I think it is more productive because there are less distractions and they can see what is going on. When we just had one, we tried to maintain TOTAL silence from him in anyway we could... but that's just ridiculous. At my home parish the priest once said, "If there aren't children crying, then the church is dying," and I couldn't agree more. Older parishioners might get irritated by crying babies in Mass but then they turn around and wonder where all the teenagers and young adults are and why they aren't more active. It all starts from the beginning.

The priest also sets the tone... We have only been to TWO Holy Day masses since we had children. We live in a very small town and there is only ever ONE Mass for anything, Sunday, Holy Days, holidays, etc. We were actually kicked out. The attendance was very small, as it usually is on a Holy Day. We only had the oldest then and it was late getting very near is bedtime, but my husband and I decided that if we were gonna talk the talk, we needed to do better at walking the walk, so we went. He was acting up.. and I was gathering up... after fighting with him for several minutes trying to get him settled down.. when the priest stopped and said, "Well it sounds like one of us is going to have to go," I slyly nodded, went quickly to the cry room and cussed him out the rest of Mass. I would have left, but I neglected to get the keys from my husband. Then we got a new priest who made a comment about how there was never anyone at Holy Day Masses... so we tried again. At this point we had two children and I spent the entire hour walking back and forth behind the last pew. We haven't been to a Holy Day Mass since.

I guess I also get the opposite, several "older" moms have said to me, "Well I remember when we just brought our sleeping kids in their jammies." I just think... WHO is getting anything out of this?!?!? Yes church is important! But if the kids aren't getting anything and you're not getting anything that what is it really accomplishing?!?!

Now... we bring books, drinks and snacks. Our church is very early and often the kids don't have time to eat breakfast. Just like there is no one right way to raise children, there is no one magic bullet for keeping them good in church. The most important thing is that you are going and taking them with you. I have learned, in my reflection as a mother and daughter in regards to faith, that I learned the most by the examples of those around me. My mother and other members of our congregation. Forcing them, at young ages to sit perfectly and never make a sound is a little crazy. I avoid at all cost going to the cry room because it's hot and I don't like watching my church like I'm a leper... I'm just a mom trying to do the best that I can.

Sorry... this got a little off topic and REALLY long! Good luck to everyone and keep up the great work!!!!

Brooke - posted on 03/24/2009

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I also had my little ones stay at home until they were old enough to understand how to behave in church. When a child is only 2, you can not expect them to behave properly during mass. I know this choice is not for everyone and each has their own solution but it worked for me. I allways felt emberrassed when my child would be squirming around, shreaking and so forth. I know our boys when they were little were just to restless for mass. I think that 4 is a perfect age for our guys to attend mass. We have 3 sons and they were all VERY vocal. I do see some families with little ones who behave AWESOME and envy how calm and quiet their little ones are. I think you need to know your own childs limits and go with it, all children are differant so everyone's answers will most likely be differant.

Best of luck with your struggle and remember this shall pass : )

Catherine - posted on 05/21/2009

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I have an almost 22 month old as well as a 7 month old. Thankfully my mom and dad and grandma are there to keep him entertained but that has only been keeping him occupied until the second rdg if that. A member of my family takes him out of mass like your husband does.. We do have a cry room, but there are way too many young ones in there so they walk up and down the hallways we have..

Unfortunately anytime you tell my son no or say later or wait, he starts screaming so loud at a high pitch. We are tryin to find a way to get that to stop. He just got interested in coloring/drawing so I'm going to try taking a coloring book and crayons this wk.

If you find something that works let me know.

Yvonne - posted on 12/18/2012

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Stacie thanks so much for your post. I cam on this website because i was just about to stop going to church or find a more child friendly church but your post really helped.

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Yvonne - posted on 12/18/2012

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My daughter is two as well and I haven't been able to sit and enjoy the service either. When i go to church it looks like am about to travel. I have a bag filled with books, toys, food and all kinds of crafty things to color etc etc. That keeps her busy for a little while. What really troubles me to the point where I really want to explode is the looks, and the eyes that speak a million words. Seriously, what do they expect a two year old to do. And am surprised that so many people who have children don't remember what it's like. Besides, each child has his own temperament and my daughter is VERY active and I really don't feel like forcing her to do things she is not yet capable of for her stage in life. The understanding people tell me she will settle down soon but those are few. I think we just have to live through it. And like someone suggested just smile. For me when they start staring I look straight at who is speaking very intently like my daughter said nothing. Good griefs it's really annoying. But like you said Dana we want them to be brought up in the church so let's just shake it off and stick through it.

Besides, my mother had 3 of us and I only have one and there is no way we were half the personality of my daughter. I don't think my mother had as much trouble with her 3 as I do with my 1 and she had to confess it - well for now..lol.

Shannon - posted on 09/11/2009

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Quoting Paula:



Quoting Guggie:




Stick to it! All my siblings went through that stage, but if you remain calm and consistent, they grow out of it.








IMO, the more concessions you make (food, drawing, distractions, playgroup/nursery) the more he will act up.








It's just like when establishing a bedtime routine. One more cup of water often = disaster.










This is wonderful advice.  I am the mother of seven and trust me, Guggie is absolutely correct!  The child can go through one hour without food/drink.  Follow this advice and you will get through it!





I also agree!  It took me to get through it with my 4th child to realze that the more "stuff" you bring to Mass to keep them quiet the more difficult it is to handle.  Once they hit age 3 or so I would allow them to bring one small item to Mass - ex: my daughter will often choose to bring in a tube of chapstick or a couple bracelets... once they are in 2nd grade (First Communion Age) they are not allowed to bring anything in.  My youngest is now 4 years old and usually doesn't bring anything in. 



I also think it is just a REALLY difficult age to expect a child to sit quietly and behave for an entire hour.  Just hang in there...they will grow out of it!

Jaime - posted on 07/09/2009

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Also sign language is great way to tell your kids to stop sit and be quite now!, or to wait a minute. With out people hearing you wisper with a mean look on your face.

Jaime - posted on 07/09/2009

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How are they spposed to learn if we dont bring them? My church is opening a day care and i am not sure how i fell about it.

Jana - posted on 06/10/2009

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I have a 2 year old and a 5 year old. My 5 year old is great in church. She has gone to 2 years of catholic school and has been going to mass since she was a baby. My son, on the other hand gets really LOUD and restless. We wind up letting him play in the narthax and having one of us chasing after him. I really do not want one of us to have to miss mass, so we are going to start trying some of this stuff. I have been bringing stuff for him to do, but it's not that. He just does not want to stay put for that long, and mass borders on his nap time. He loves the music, but the mass we go to the music is pretty limited. I think maybe we'll try a different time when there is more music (and more kids and less older people who do seem irritated by him!)

Sabrina - posted on 06/08/2009

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I have a 5, 3 and 8 month old kids that I bring to church every Sunday. We too sit in the back, we are blessed to have a cry room, but there are time when the kids get wild. I just remind my kids to look around and see what others are doing. I try and get my kids really involved by singing with them and holding them during mass. Other then that and everything you are doing is about it. People should realize that it is everyone's right to be at church and that they are in the house of the LORD and he doesn't mind crying kids! Good luck and God bless!

[deleted account]

We don't have a cry room at our church either, and our Father explained why which made total sense. He wants all of the children, whether they are restless or sitting quietly to be able to learn from the congregation about the mass itself. Thankfully my congregation is so used to outbursts from the children in the congregation that no one pays it a second thought. Do you have other mass times on Sunday that might be better for your sons schedule, or even have more families with young children? One way we get our son to focus is by sitting a bit closer to the alter and if we point to the priest he becomes so fascinated by what he is doing and will sit still for a little while. Don't feel ashamed about having to go into the entry way, if that is what you have to do it is okay. Just keep with it, and this will pass.
GOOD LUCK!

[deleted account]

I am sorry to hear that as well. My own mother (had two of us) and she is not so nice about little kids including mine. I pray for her. It is sad that people get so upset. I think that you are doing the best you can. Thank you for this thread. We have four kids:7, 5, 3, and 13 months. We go each Sunday. Some Sunday's are harder than others. We do have a nursery that I need to take advantage of. I only take my son out if it is during the Eucharist and he is really loud. Otherwise, I just say a prayer of thanksgiving that I am blessed to have these little ones.

Sheryl - posted on 05/29/2009

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Hi Dana,

I can share with you what my Mom always told me. On days that my guys (now 14 & 15) would act up, she would tell me....."Sheryl, you will be especially blessed because you are making sure that your boys are brought to church and will grow up with Jesus in their hearts". I have been blessed over and over again.



This may sound crazy but one thing that I found to be helpful was, the closer I sat to the front, the better they behaved. I'm not sure if it was because they could see what was going on or they weren't as distracted with so many people around them. We do have a cry room at our church but honestly, I recall only using it a couple of times.



Keep up the good work!

Robin - posted on 05/20/2009

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When my daughter was that age we faced the same issue. We started out removing her and letting her walk around the back of the church (narthex are) where we could still listen to mass. We figured out that she enjoyed this, so we had to stop. Instead, if we removed her from church, we took her outside and held her until she was quiet and calm. This was not fun to her and we soon found she preferred to sit quietly in the pew with her "entertainment" bad rather than leaving church to be held and truely bored. When number two came along, we did this from the start (making leaving the pew unattractive) and we had far fewer problems with him. Also, if the kids misbehave during church, they don't get donuts or any other refreshment offered after Mass. Bottom line is you have to find something that works for YOU! Good Luck!

Roseann - posted on 04/17/2009

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hi, i have 4 children & my youngest is 2 1/2, our church has a class called Gods little children where all children till communion age are welcome, they stay there till the offertry & then join the mass for communion & blessings i find this a blessing as it teaches the kids about catholism in a way they can understand & keeps them entertained, plus when they join the mass they aint there that long so they dont get restless, maybe u should see ur priest & see if u cant start a class like this in your church xx

Paula - posted on 04/17/2009

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OH NO!!!!!! You would think being 80 years old she would understand why we are at mass!!! Most parishes no longer have crying rooms, because of the message it is sending. Our children are the future of OUR CHURCH!!!! they need to be a part of mass from the time they are born.



SO WHAT if some 80 year old lady was irritated, maybe if she was paying attention to the mass with her whole heart, mind and soul she would have not even noticed your 22 month old acting up and if he was acting up SO WHAT, he is 22 months old .... he is still to little to understand, but needs to be there.



My son was about the same age as your son and he actually escaped from the pew, ran done the center isle and up on the alter. I thought I was going to die ... so of course I went to go get him and our Priest. stoped his homily and said to me ..."Mom... go sit back down, your son obviously wanted to be closer seat" and there was my son, for the rest of the mass, walking around up on the alter and sitting on the floor making faces at everyone as our Priest continued on. The Priest also told everyone, that the children of Our Church is a Blessing from Our Lord" He also said, if you cannot accept a Blessing from Our Lord in his home at his table, then you should rethink about accepting the Body and Blood of Christ. In order to accept the Body of Christ you must accept his blessings and your heart must be opened.



Just say a prayer for that little old lady and keep bringing your children to Sunday Mass. Its Our Lords home .... he wants them there!!!

Nancy - posted on 04/11/2009

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Unfortunately, people in Church sometimes do not act very Christian.  I would not let it get to you.  When my children were little, we often heard the heavy sighing.  I would always turn to the person, wave with a big smile on my face, and mouth "hi".  It really kills them.  Sometimes they came around and actually were nice at the end of Mass, other times they talked about us to the people around us, and sometimes they moved someplace else.  But I would always keep up a friendly attitutude which kept me from becoming upset.  On Palm Sunday one year we were at a cheerleading competition in a town far from home.  In between performances, my friend and myself were able to bring our daughters to a nearby church for Mass.  There was no time to change, we had to go right to church.  Some older women behind us were very upset and kept talking about how wrong it was for the girls to wear their uniforms to church.  I told the girls to pray for the older women - it is so sad that they had such hate in their hearts when they were at Mass.  The priest came over after Mass and heard them talking.  He then looked at the girls and in a loud voice welcomed them to the Mass and called them both beautiful.  There were over 3000 girls at the competition, and our two girls were the only ones who decided to skip their break with their friends and go to Mass instead - I couldn't be prouder of them...

Kelly - posted on 04/04/2009

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First off, the older ones never understand how to act in mass. When you start getting ahandful of kids (we have 5) the younger ones pick up on how to act from the older ones, so they are usually learn a lot quicker how to act -- it does get easier!



Also:



1. Pray before Mass, ask anyone in Heaven who will listen to help the family make it through mass with a good attitude!



2. Make sure little tummies are fed before Mass.



3. We never bring toys or sippy cups or snacks. We started out bringing all that stuff but soon realized that it was more hassle than it was worth.



4. Make Mass more pleasing than getting out of it. For example, if Jr. is fussy and you go into the gathering area and look at statues, you're teaching Jr. that s/he will be rewarded for being fussy. If the weather is warm, I've been known to sit Mass out in the van with Jr. strapped in the carseat (never strap the child in and leave the vehicle). If the weather is cool, I've been known to firmly but not harshly, sit on a toilet seat with Jr. on my lap -- anything to show Jr. that Mass is more pleasant than the alternative.



5. People are going to be annoyed by little kids. How will you ever learn humility without being humiliated? :-) You can help avoid this by making sure you sit in the same place every. single. week. so that the people who have sensitive hearing can arrange to sit in a different part of the church. Believe it or not, noise from your child that sounds like thunder actually often sounds like a squeak to those sitting across the church.



When the kids get older (school age), sit down with a pen and paper and think about all the things they do during Mass that aggravate you. Expain to them that Sunday will be a day of rest and recreation if they can avoid these behaviors in Church -- And that Sunday (or at least Monday after school!) will be a time of chores and work if they act up in Church. And, follow through with it.

Stephanie - posted on 03/24/2009

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Your son is only 2 and can't be expected to behave as an adult.  When my daughter was that age I refused to sit in the cry room at our church because many of the other parents just let their children run (yes run) and play.  I did not want my daughter to grow up thinking church time was play time. 



I understand the rudeness - I once had a lady turn and point me to the cry room during the middle of mass and on a day that my daughter was behaving!  Don't let those people bother you, because for everyone there is there is another who loves that you are bringing your child(ren) to church and is happy to hear them "sing" with the congregation.  Most importantly God wants him in church!



As your son gets older it may be better for him to sit closer to the front of church.  If he can see what is going on during the mass he may be more inclined to sit still and pay attention.  Not sure if there are side doors where you would be able to make a quick escape if needed.

Angela - posted on 03/15/2009

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Hi, my girls are older now, but i can relate. Hopefully your priest is reassuring that is is good to bring the baby to church. How else is the little guy going to get to be comfortable there. The longer you keep bringing him, the more used to it he'll get. The older lady is obviously just that and now impatient. Don't let her or anyone else detour your from the goal. Keep going, even though i know its hard to focus on the mass while entertaining the little one. It will get easier, well maybe not for a while since your expecting. LOL. It's a good thing for the kids to be a part of. Now my daughters are alter servers, such a beautiful site. Keep your chin up and ignore the rudeness of some people, you know there are always those out there.

Anne - posted on 03/15/2009

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We have the same few things in our diaper bag so my daughter knows exactly what she can have during mass (she is 20 months) her mini magana doodle, milk, gold fish crackers, a book, and snuggy. We sit in the front so she can see everything. I quietly point things out to her and the new colors in church. We get her to pay more attention on the Sundays that I or my father lector. Good Luck!

Di - posted on 03/09/2009

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My sons are 4 and 2 and have been taken to mass every week and sometimes through the weekdays as well. I have never sat at the back with them, always towards the front so that they can become aware that Father is doing something. My boys are loud at times, restless, just your average noisy pre schoolers. Far from being a nuisance most parishoners that I talk to about it, say they are happy to have them there and sometimes (when the homily is exceedingly long...lol) a great distraction. You are doing the most important thing for your child/ren because they will become the next generation of catholics. As to the people that give glowering looks, don't judge them, after mass, go up, introduce yourself and your kids. Chances are they aren't being disturbed at all but surprised to hear children. I am saddened if you are asked to leave by the priest. My brother in law is a priest and he would be upset to think that children weren't welcome at mass.

Candy - posted on 03/08/2009

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I'm going through the same thing. I bring my 4 year old and leave my 2 year old with grammy. There is no cry room at my church either. I bring toys , gum, pops. But I think were going to go cold turkey and tell him theres no time for toys. Actually I brought them both by myself today and it went ok.

[deleted account]

My daughter hated when the organ played when she was an infant.  As she got older I fought with her, but then I realized that there are parts of the mass that I wanted to be there for and that sitting for that long was not necessarily the most reasonable expectation.  After trying the cry room and having a worse time listening to other kids in there too I decided that we would go to mass a few minutes late and leave after communion.  For me I really wanted to listen to the homily.  The readings for the week are listed on the website or in the bulletin so I would read them on my own.  As she got used to it she became better behaved.  Of course I brought a book or snack for her to have to keep her busy.  But to me it was important to participate in the mass and communion and for her to be a part of it, even if it wasn't the whole thing.  I also read "Parenting from the Pew" and it gave me a great perspective on why children should be there during the mass and how to keep them involved, even at a very young age.  Now we read through the music, sing along, and try to make it fun!

Katherine - posted on 02/23/2009

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When our children were younger, they were horrible in church! They were probably the worse kids there. Many times I was in tears after the Mass! I used to think that it was just us, because all the other children were so well behaved! I realize now that the older ones will calm down as they get used to it and understand that church is not a playground. They still get a bit restless, but are so much better! We make it a point to explain what's going on, and point out all the beautiful art in the church. As for other people, there are always a handful of older people who get annoyed and make comments, but the majority of people (including our priest) love to see young children in church. Where I live, the age average of those who attend Mass is around 70-80 years old, and only about 5% of Catholics still attend Mass, so the sight of children is a sign of hope and a breath of fresh air!

[deleted account]

During one particularly hard mass with our 2 year old son, the monsignor got up at the end of mass and addressed us all. He said children should be in church, how else are they going to learn how to act and be a Catholic? The only time they should be taken out is when they are louder than he was. I was so grateful for his words and live by them still with our daughter now 19 mo and going through the same stage. I still believe children should be in church and in fact avoid churches where they now ask for the children to go to the childcare room during mass (we're a military family and move a lot, we've seen a lot of churches come and go). I don't mind much her crawling over the pew, most people are understanding. As for the irritated old woman, maybe she was having a bad day, but you know she did her time too. Children don't magically behave just because they're in church.

Angela - posted on 02/21/2009

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I think it's wonderful that you are taking your son to church. Children can't learn how to behave in church if you don't take them. Our boys are ages 11 and almost 5 and when they were younger (for the first 2.5 years of each of their lives) we would sit in the back (like you do) and then take them to the cry room in the back of the church when they got too loud. Our church has a small room in the back of the church where you can still see and hear everything. I still didn't like going in there because I felt so removed, but my kids are talkers and it took awhile for them to learn when they could talk and when they needed to be quiet. We were consistent though, and now we sit in the front of the church so that they can see what's going on and we are rewarded for our consistency. We are often complimented for our children's good behavior. They both stay quiet except for singing and praying, and they know when to stand, kneel and sit. They don't fidget. Anyway, my point is that we were exactly in your position, and we got through it. Now we enjoy going to church as a family. :-)

Lisa - posted on 02/19/2009

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I agree with some of the other moms here. Food or drink should only be taken into church if it is for an infant (bottle). Cheerios have no place in church. When my kids were younger, I would allow them one religious book to take with them. They often picked their bibles so they could look through and pretend that they were following along. Our kids always acted better in church when nothing was brought from home.



Around age 4, they lost interest in that and took interest in what was really happening in church and we were free from taking anything with us. Our church also has a preschool religious education program. Starting at the age of 3 (kids have to be potty-trained) and it was during one of the Sunday morning masses. That was nice. We would drop our 2 younger kids off at the school (our older child was attending Catholic school so she didn't need to go.), then we would head across to the parking lot to mass. I would inquire about this for when your child is old enough.



If all else fails, tag-team church with your husband. We still do this when someone is sick or if our special needs son just can't handle church that day.



I hope you find a solution that works for your family. :)

Heather - posted on 02/18/2009

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When my girls were younger I always sat at the back of the church...they used to dance in the aisle and if they saw their grandparents off they went to sit with them!

As they got a little older, i believe they were 4 and 2, they are now 7 and 5, we moved up to the front of the church. The second of third row, they like it up there because they can see everything that father is doing.

My older daughter is very interested in everything that is going on as she is preparing for her first communion. She can't wait for that.

Paula - posted on 02/16/2009

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Quoting Guggie:



Stick to it! All my siblings went through that stage, but if you remain calm and consistent, they grow out of it.






IMO, the more concessions you make (food, drawing, distractions, playgroup/nursery) the more he will act up.






It's just like when establishing a bedtime routine. One more cup of water often = disaster.






This is wonderful advice.  I am the mother of seven and trust me, Guggie is absolutely correct!  The child can go through one hour without food/drink.  Follow this advice and you will get through it!

Maureen - posted on 02/12/2009

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When my son was 2, my husband and I took turns caring for him at home and we each went to different Masses. Every once in awhile we had our 14yr.old stay with him while we attended together. Then one day, we just started taking him again and he started behaving. I guess I'm just trying to say, it's just the age. Two-year-olds want to explore and don't understand the boundaries.

Our church does not provide a cry room either but an area like you described. This is to encourage people to remove their children when they become impossible but not to get too comfortable. That way they are more likely to return to Mass.

As for the women who scowls, that's her problem so say a prayer for her. Mass was intended for ALL people. In fact, when your child was baptised, he became a member of the Church.

"Mass is an action of the community rather than an individual act of faith and piety." (taken from USCCB). Your son is part of the community.

Hope this helps. God Bless.

Vicki - posted on 02/11/2009

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This is one of my biggest petpeeves, I have a 4yr old and a19 month old I take books and cheeerios for them but you can't expect them to be quite all the time.  An older couple used to sit behind us at our church and talk all through mass(and they're half deaf so you know hao loud they are talking) and nothing is said to them, but the second a kid squacks heads turn. GRRRRRRR. When my son Alex was almost 2 he had a Wiggles Guitar book ( a booked shaped like a guitar) . As soon as the other guitars would star playing and singing the parts of the Mass he would play his and also sing the parts of the Mass.  There where on string on it he just likes to look like he's playing it and how many 2 yrolds do you know that can sing the Holy Holy  or Gloria etc.  We were told he wasn't allowed to bring it anymore. we mored to a church close to our house where people thought that was great. Grant there is one old lady that sits accross from us and looks anytime Dominique makes a sound.( I think her face would crack if she evered smiled)  A good friend of mine who is expecting her 4th in 5 years anyday now says she just looks at them and smiles.  It works, try it.  If you are brave unlike me ask them " how do you expect them to behave in church or even go when they get older if they aren't taken as little kids" this is one of the reasons that attendence at Catholic Churches if falling off, children and teens aren't welcome. Some how older perple expect us to just start going when we hit middle age.  Well to bad for them my kids will always be in church......But Cheerioes works great!



Good Luck



And God Bless and just remember to smile at the grumpy old people.



Remember what Jesus Said "Bring all the little Children to ME!!!"

Breeze - posted on 02/10/2009

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I almost forgot -- I volunteer w/ the high school youth at my church and they've gotten to know my kids. Sometimes I'll have one of them sit w/ us at Mass so we have three "big people" handling the kids. They might even take a turn w/ them in the church gathering space. It's sort of like a Mass babysitting gig. :) Check w/ your parish's youth minister. I'm sure he or she could suggest a reliable candidate! Offer them $5 or they might even do it for free.

Breeze - posted on 02/10/2009

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You asked for *suggestions* so that's all this is. If it isn't for you, by all means, don't do it.

I have a friend who's parents and in-laws are local and Catholic. They sometimes attend Mass w/ one or the other family so that the family can help w/ the toddler. Another thing they do is one of them attends Mass w/ their own parents while the other stays home w/ the toddler or visits their own family and then the other may attend Mass w/ their own parents, a friend or even alone. This means that they sometimes attend as a couple but w/ extra friends or relatives along or they go separately. Alternately, sometimes the toddler goes to his grandparents' house while they attend Mass together and then they join them for breakfast or lunch. It allows them to participate in the Mass and not wrestle w/ a bored toddler. Are there friends or relatives who would help or watch your child while you attend Mass together? Maybe you could swap Mass times w/ another couple. They go Saturday night while you watch their child and you go Sunday morning while they watch yours? Granted, it's important that a child learn to behave and that their faith is a part of their upbringing. However, if it's making worship near impossible for you, maybe waiting until they can participate a little more fully would be better.

AGAIN -- just suggestions. :)

Guggie - posted on 02/10/2009

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Stick to it! All my siblings went through that stage, but if you remain calm and consistent, they grow out of it.



IMO, the more concessions you make (food, drawing, distractions, playgroup/nursery) the more he will act up.



It's just like when establishing a bedtime routine. One more cup of water often = disaster.

Olivia - posted on 02/08/2009

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I don't know what to tell you about activities, my son is only 13 mos. But check out www.busybibles.com. A cloth book with stories of the bible. Our son has one and it at least gives a few minutes of calm and I think it'll be better as he gets older and understands the book isn't just for chewing.

[deleted account]

Thanks for the advice! It is nice to know we are not alone. We will continue going, and stay consistent.
we are trying to get rid of the pacifier, but maybe we'll start using it at church again. We use it for bedtime only now. We'll see!
thanks again!

Tiffany - posted on 02/05/2009

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Hi Dana,
I think what you are experiencing is just typical 2 year old boy behavior. I am mom of 2 boys born just 9 months and 27 days apart. My husband and I spent the better part of 2 years with one or both of us having to be out in the entrance. I encourage you to stay the course. There will come a day when he will sit still. My boys are now 7 and 8 and they do wonderful at church. Since there has never been a time that they did not go, they can now follow along and know just what is expected of them. Keep trying different quiet activities and eventually things will get better. I know it is hard to spend the service separated but it will not be forever. Good luck!

Tami - posted on 02/05/2009

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Hi Dana!! My husband and I have a 22 month old son as well! So I can totally understand your predicament. Our church also doesn't have a cry room, but when I've been in other churches that do have them, I didn't find them particularly helpful - just more distracting! Luckily, most of the congregation is made up of young families so we don't get very many nasty glances... (you're right - that IS rude).



I've also been trying to think of ways to get our son to behave and start to pay attention at Mass. I usually hold him because if we let him down he wants to go into the aisle and wave at people, or walk along the pew. Inevitably he struggles to get away, but he calms down if I give him a pacifier. He only gets his "pluggie" when he's in his crib now, so that's kind of a treat for him. I'm not sure what we'll do when we get rid of it all together. I also try to point out different things to him during Mass to keep him interested and bounce with him when we sing.



I recenty found this little article that I think has some really good ideas/suggestions in it: http://www.elizabethficocelli.com/avoidi... One of the things she emphasizes is consistancy, and I tend to think that's the key as well.



Good luck, and know you're not alone!!! :O)

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