This week, The 4 Moms are talking about how to keep kids still and quiet during worship. Be sure to read how large families get to church on time, and be careful not to laugh yourself silly if you saw what time we arrived in church last Sunday.
We like to have our children worshipping with us in the assembly, so we do not participate in children's church. For this reason, it is imperative that they learn to remain relatively quiet and still during the duration of the hour long service.
I have written about training little children for church before, so you will want to read that post if the word "training" didn't just turn you off forever from reading my blog.
Yes, I am aware that our children are not dogs, but I do believe that we should "train up a child in the way he should go", and you may call that teaching or impressing or guiding, but in any case the idea is that goodness and right behavior don't just spring forth from children. It must be instilled.
And if you don't believe that last statement, have yourself 6 or 7 more kids. It'll grow on you.
So, the key to having children who actively worship during church, while not distracting the entire row behind you with monkey business is to TEACH them what is expected. The link above will give you some ideas how we teach our children what is expected, and that is not to say that they always do it perfectly.
(Check out this quiet way to keep even small children engaged and listening intently to the sermon.)
When necessary, we take them out to the "cry room" and make them sit in our laps without getting down and with no toys or books for entertainment. When they can remain calm and quiet, we go back into the assembly and they may hold a doll or a book.
When we do this consistently, along with the training methods I linked to above, it isn't long before a 15-18 month old child will understand that it is more pleasant to sit quietly in the assembly with a dolly or book than it is to go out and have nothing to hold or look at.
That is, unless my husband is out of town and I am locked in the cry room and unable to get out. Then all bets are off.
Now, be sure to see what the rest of The 4 Moms do about keeping their children quiet during worship.