sitting sitll

Kristen - posted on 07/12/2009 ( 4 moms have responded )

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We have been attending church on and off for about a year. My 7 year old has a hard time sitting still during the sermon. Even if she has paper or something to draw on, it doesn't take long until she's bored with it. Threats and promises don't work. I realize that once she is used to going, the easier it may be for her. But what do I do until then?

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User - posted on 07/13/2009

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If she can sit through school, she can physically sit through a service quietly.

Allow her some decision making powers - what three quiet items does she want to take, which four colored pencils does she want to take, etc. If she gets to choose which quiet items she can take, it may help. Also, when you know that the pastor is leading into a story, quietly alert her that he/she is going to tell a story. If there are portions of the sermon that she can easily understand, it may help her maintain interest.

At 7 years old, she's also old enough to pay attention to the sermon long enough to find the Scripture in her Bible and follow along while it is read - tell her that you will ask her what the verses were after service, and if she remembers, there is a small treat or prize.

You mentioned that you attend "off and on" - the more frequently you attend, the more she will know what to expect as well.

Good luck!

[deleted account]

The children at our church leave before the sermon and have children's church in a separate part of the building. It is very hard to sit still and quiet for so long. Would she read a book? I have seen kids playing gameboy and other hand held games (with the sound off). They also do puzzle books with mazes, crossword puzzles, etc... A special reward after the service may also do the trick.

[deleted account]

I would bribe her. If she sits and behaves, she gets ______________. 7 year olds will understand but will also know if it's 'worth' it or not to. - If you don't want to bribe her then grounding or some kind of punishment. You do things she wants to do and are quiet about it so remind her that she needs to do things that your husband & you want to do. I don't know; just a thought.

Kelly - posted on 07/12/2009

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I know what you mean! My kids have grown up in our church, but still my 7-year-old can be more fidgety than my 3-year-old at times! I tend to feel like moving around is not as bad as making noise, but that depends on how crowded your pew is. We carry bags for the kids with crayons, dolls, and kids bibles in them. It might also help if she has a watch to look at, and you can show her what time the service will be over. That helps avoid the endless "how much longer?" whispers. Maybe she can check off each item in the bulletin after it is done, too, so she can see that it is getting closer to the end. Our church gives the kids an activity sheet when we go in, but of course if I don't hold onto it for them, they have it all done before the sermon even starts. Good luck, and just remember, for one thing, she will mature past this stage (my teenagers are proof of that!), and that I'm sure the people in the church would rather you be there with a "busy" child, than not coming at all! I know I would feel that way about visitors at our church anyway!

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