My son won't sit still at church

Karen - posted on 07/07/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My son wont sit still at church. He is loud and wants to run around and annoy everyone. Our nursery is available, but it is full of babies, and he has been disruptive there too. I bought a monkey leash, to keep him with me. He makes noise then, and pulls at the leash. So we stand in the back and I'll hold him, but then he wiggles and screams to get down. I want to take him out back to meet the ROD, but that would cause more noise too. What is a mother ro do?

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Heather - posted on 07/07/2010

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I would like to recommend practicing at home. Start doing family worship each day. Make sure you call it worship time. Work with him at home on how to sit and behave during worship time, then when you get to church, just let him know that it's worship time. Do some singing and Bible reading during your worship time at home so it is similar to what you would do at church.

Alisha - posted on 07/22/2010

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Who's son will sit still!! Don't get discouraged to come to church or frustrated about it because it's every kid at some point. I'm not sure how old he is but if you have to spank him in the bathroom, then do it. It's moments like in the moment of disobedience that parents can and should be disciplining but are afraid to because of what other's will think. I'm not saying beat him up (I don't think you would) but a little pat on the bottom and explain over and over the behavior you expect (before you get there) and consequences for disobeying. They will learn very quickly! Pray about it as well, you are not alone!

Rebekah - posted on 07/18/2010

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Hm, if your son doesn't want to go in the nursery because of the babies, do they have a next class up, like a toddler/preschool class??? Try that! If not, take crayons and paper, have your son draw pictures of what the pastor is saying. Or better yet, talk with the pastor to find out what the sermon will be about each week or if your pastor has a "monthly" theme, make some bulletins of your own for your son - if you need examples let me know, I can email you some. OR do what I did as the children's pastor when all the kids sat out in big service, I'd have the elders of the church pass out something special like a piece of candy or a small prize to put under the chair when they were acting good, if they started to act up, that special prize would get taken away... this worked really well. Or you could do a monthly thing, have your son earn something when he does good on a Sunday at church, when he gets like say 4 stars for the month, do something fun - ice cream out or whatever he likes. This is Biblical, the Bible does say God rewards us for our diligence. Help him realize that doing good things means reward, and when I don't behave I get a consequence.

Mae - posted on 07/18/2010

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Our church is a very small one with only the nursery and sunday school, but they would rather my daughter go to the nursery then distract others. Unless being told not to drop you child off in the nursery I would, and if they are telling you not to take your child there then maybe a new church home would be appropriate.

Corey - posted on 07/13/2010

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I am subscribed to blog of a christian mother of four who just recently posted something about kids in church... i think that the kids should be in church with us though i see the other views of having them in their own service. Abbi of Proverbs 31 Living has some ideas of how you can have the kids with you in the service -

http://proverbs31living.blogspot.com/201...

I hope you can find something that will work for your little one with the least amount of stress on you. God Bless.

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make him stand in a corner in the hall right out side of the chaple. tell him if he cant be quite he will be still in time out. ..there is nothing wrong with a swift punishment for a rude child. (hope You dont take offence) ..and there is nothing wrong with keeping a baby/young child in the serves some times You might want to have them step out for some messages but church is for familys not just adults~
I for one let my son walk back and forth as long as he is quiet(i sit in the back when i go alone with the kids as for my husband hasnt been able to go) hes going threw the rebeliouse stage at 2 1/2 but he is always ncie to ppl ..and he goes to the childrens nursey/church after the singing and anouncments

Amanda - posted on 07/18/2010

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How old is he? Does he like to color, read, or draw? My three year old is the same way she wants to run around, and make noise. If I take something she likes to do then she is a little easier to kept quiet until children church starts. Do they have children church at your church? If so, may you could see if he could go back there with them because they usually have snacks, they do crafts or activities, and have a story time! I feel your pain girl, because sometimes my little girl is in a bad mood and if anyone tries to come up to here at that point the church gets to hear " NO! Go away! " It is a sunday to sunday process with us! LOL

Lindsay - posted on 07/15/2010

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My daughter is 19 months old and I can't get her to sit still either. She wants to run around and explore,so I sit with her for the music and I give her time to be good and sit there, but when I realize that her patience has worn down, I take her to the nursery (I sit in the back as to not disturb people) and it seems to work well. I imagine that with time, her attention span will get longer, if that makes sense, but I like to expose her to the church service more and more, even though she is little and it is for short periods of time. Maybe trying that would work. Also, if your child is young, then don't feel bad about him being in the nursery. He will gain valuable lessons from being around the other children and when he is older, it'll be easier for him to sit through a service. Sometimes adults have trouble sitting through a whole service, so don't kick yourself over it. Just take it little by little. Hope this helps. :)

Jill - posted on 07/14/2010

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pray for God to help you with your son's behavior.... God is faithful... when we switched churches .. my son wouldn't even go inside,.. my husband had to sit on the steps outside the church for 6 weeks or so.... but we persisted and prayed ... the pastor prayed also ... one day there was a breakthrough... so pray and pray and have everyone pray... and be persistant... bring snacks and small toys to keep him occupied...

Corey - posted on 07/13/2010

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for those of you had asked how old her son was... i looked at ehr profile and it says her son is just over 2 1/2 yrs old

[deleted account]

its our responsibility as parents to train our child up... and they certanly make it a challenge at times dont they! Hahaha. how old is your little one? the other mums have made great suggestions. You just have to turn church into FUN for your child. Before you leave...dont ever complain about being tired or get grumpy bcoz your in a rush... your little one will notice and think where your going is an inconvenience. Always make the preparation time exciting. have a smile on your dial even if your sleepy, and stay calm, getting up early enough to not have to rush. If your all relaxed before you go, babys attitude will be better even before you get there... in the car you can say things like "were going to church! YAY!!!! We can praise Jesus together! we get to sing and dance and clap our hands! and see lots and lots of people, church is so much fun!" begin to sing or humm praise and worship tunes that you know are regulars in your church... by the time you get there, your little one will have some expectation... and a mindset that where you have arrived is not a bad thing but something that mummy and daddy really seem to make a big deal about! Of course, then you have the whole... "this only lasts a while" thing. what the other mums have suggested helps with this. Having special (quiet) toys for church... if your child is old enough, crayons and a colouring in book too. Try the rug thing, it works with about 60% of children apparently, if your persistant. Even bring a porta-cot or foldable play-pen if at home bub is happy with that.

remember, people understand that little toddlers are going to be exactly that...little toddlers. They have short attention spans and command attention. Your congregation will understand a bit of squeeling and the occasional tantrum that you have to take out and end...but... in saying that, as a parent, you must learn how to control your child to a certain degree. otherwise they just get worse and worse. Depending on your childs age, there must be concequences for bad behaviour. but it has to start at home. if you tell them off or use the rod because of there disobedience at church, but never do it at home for other things, its not going to work, and your kid will hate church even more.

also, try to get your little one involved in praise and worship. children love music. Praise is easy, you can hold bub and dance on the spot... of if bub is standing and walking well, hold both hands and dance up the back with them. twirl them around...raise your hands and encourage them to do the same! dont talk and make tonns of noise, teach them how to praise! worship, although a little more challenging, is still do-able. Hold them in your arms, cuddle time, sing the words of the songs into his little ears softly...whisper things like "were singing to Jesus" "sing softly to Jesus" most little ones will really relax and may even fall asleep! as they get a bit older you can really teach them what its all about of course.

its hard to give much more advice without your childs age...
if he is 5 yrs old or something like that, then id be much stronger with him.... thats old enough to obey. but its up to mummy and daddy to lay down the laws and stick to them. an unruly 5, 6, 7, 8 yr old etc is a sign of parents not disciplining or teaching there little one. in this case i would buy a book on Godly parenting and talk to other parents about training up your child. Also maybe talk to a church leader... or the childrens church co-oordinater for ideas on keeping ur little one happy, and also on parenting resources. Ive answered assuming your child is between 0 - 3 yrs old...
hope this helps!
Pray, God will give you ideas too :-)

Arica - posted on 07/08/2010

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Don't feel bad my son is the same way. We got to understand it is absolutely borning for them. If as adults we get ancy at times, imagine a toddler. I think more churches need to invest into good childrens church programs that gets the kids involved early. And in turn lets the parents get the word of God.

Cheryl - posted on 07/08/2010

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I agree with Heather- practice once a day at home, starting at just 10 minute incriments with a reward if he can do it.

Traci has a great idea too- we do that too, but for our 5 and 6 year olds!!

Traci - posted on 07/07/2010

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I would pack a small back pack filled with special activities that he only gets to do during church. No other time in the week. Fill it with quiet activities like a magna doodle, crayola color wonders and wonder paper (mess free), and some favorite edibles (fruit snacks, pretzels, crackers), simple inset puzzles. You might want to look for other items at the dollar store or the dollar section of Target. I would also suggest that you start out with a goal of say making it thru the first 15 minutes. You could reward your son afterwards with a trip to the playground. Each week you might try to add on 5 minutes. Good luck.

Rebecca - posted on 07/07/2010

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Melany's idea is good...my 2 year old is in nursery right now. But I just thought about someone who told me about "blanket training." Apparently you work with them at home to sit still and quietly on a blanket and you can take the blanket anywhere and they will sit on it quietly. I'm not sure if I've really described it properly, as I heard from it second hand. Maybe you can look into it or other moms on this forum can tell you about it if they have experience with this method.

Melany - posted on 07/07/2010

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How old is your son? None of mine were even allowed in church until at least 3 and I'm debating waiting longer for my youngest. We also have a 'toddler' room at our church that separates the older babies from the infants. Learning how to act in church is part of the growing process, but if he is still really young, it's hard to get them to sit still. Definitely make sure he has some kind of 'distraction' - coloring pages, drawing pad, etc and some stickers. Our church also makes some bags that include a lesson and pipe cleaners where they can make something.

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