Children too noisy in church

(64 Posts)
SPSGirl Sun 10-Mar-13 22:42:49

I am looking for advice. It has recently become clear that my church are becoming intolerant of the noise made by my two kids 4 and 2. One person had e grace to discuss is with me but others have obviously been discussing this without me. I now hear that they are talking about removing the children's area in the hope that the kids will be quieter. I do my best to keep the noise to a minimum but as I go to church and DH doesn't it is really hard. I have been going to the church for 10 years but don't know what to do. I am starting not to want to go any more. What do I do?

difficultpickle Mon 11-Mar-13 21:48:29

Stop taking your children until they can sit through a service and understand and listen

If those were the criteria for church attendance there would be no children in church and quite a few adults wouldn't be able to attend either.

elfycat Wed 13-Mar-13 15:13:06

When DD1 was young I took her to a tiny local church. the vicar (army padre) would say that children were free to make as much noise and run around, but would the adults please refrain. DD1 started playing peekaboo at him around the pew and he kept getting the giggles until everyone was laughing. A proper child friendly church.

Then I moved to a small town. Tried taking a 3 year old and 1 year old but they would make noise and not stay put. Not helped by the second 'family' service on a Sunday turning out to be a 1.5 hour ordeal some weeks. I get told it's lovely to have children there, and it's fine that they make noise. But it's said brittely not indulgently. And it's not me being paranoid about our welcome. I've heard it several times from other people with small children. I think the main vicar isn't a people person at all. I want to get DD2 christened but need to find another church.

Kendodd Wed 13-Mar-13 15:18:19

I'd just find another church were children are welcome.

blackeyedsusan Thu 14-Mar-13 00:02:26

ds has asd... he does not have an indoor voice, nor, until recently, could I peel him away from my leg to stay in creche/sunday school. I found that keeping his mouth occupied with other things seemed to reduce the noise. (though carrot sticks do result in orange poo on monday grin)

we left one church due to their attitude about the children. this one is much better and only one persistant glarer.

RuckAndRoll Mon 18-Mar-13 09:34:56

SPSGirl I really sympatise. We've been slowly coming to the realisation this weekend that the church we've been going to for 4 years is really anti children 'seen and not heard' type attitude. Our first DC is due in the summer and I'm already freaking out about taking it down as a tiny baby incase it cries.

We have a foyer with baby toys and sound looped to the main church so you can still see and hear the service, and a Sunday School so the outward facing bit is very welcoming, but underneath they don't want children there. I'm not looking forward to spending my whole time sat in the foyer with the toddlers incase the baby cries.

I've been told that sitting in the foyer is acceptable, even if the baby is asleep, because if it wakes and cries it'll disturb others. I spoke to our rector who said anyone who complains, send to her, but at the moment I'm a hormal mess and don't have the strength to fight it.

Anyway, hope you find a solution for you. It's really hard as in 20 years, who will still be there? Not the elderly congregation currently complaining.

mummytime Mon 18-Mar-13 09:53:21

""high proportion of intolerant, middle class pensioners."

I'm not a Christian but I've been to a fair few services for various reasons. I must say, I'm yet to attend a church where the vast majority were not in the category stated above. But that does fit in with the average demographic of Christians in this country today, so I guess it's no surprise."

I have to say that none of the churches I am involved in could be described this way, not even the Cathedral. Most people in all the congregations are middle aged, not pensioners. Yes probably most are middle class, but I live in a very middle class area; at places like Spring Harvest I have met a lot of working class Christians.
Intolerant - some are, but not most. The Cathedral is one of the most tolerant places, although there are far fewer children so their noise is more obvious. Actually the people who get most stressed are the grandparents of children being Baptised (who often aren't real regulars but like to get their Grandchildren Baptised at a Cathedral).

Jaynebxl Mon 18-Mar-13 11:36:57

I'm with you mummytime. Our church has about a hundred people and only two are over 60. About 30 are teens and the rest are families. We sometimes go to stuff at our village church which does have a lot of older people but also has loads of kids, families, etc.

I would definitely go find a more family friendly church, there seem to be plenty around.

Knowsabitabouteducation Mon 18-Mar-13 20:57:05

We have about 400 children in our church and it is absolute chaos until they go out to their groups.

I always feel sorry for people who visit for the first time (we are a fairly ordinary parish church in a town of 10000). I think they go right back out again.

thewhistler Tue 19-Mar-13 22:50:53

Ruck,
I do sympathise because on the outside the church we go to is like that, with a glass narthex and that is what I felt like when Ds was small. On one occasion he screamed all the way to the communion rail. Loudly. Through a visiting choir's careful piece de resistance.

But actually, the congregation that attends the family service is more tolerant than I would have believed.

We did the prodigal son in the vestry recently and there was a sugar rush as we feasted and some of the children came out oinking in their pig masks and then oinked up for a blessing. They also oinked in the pews. The only people who complained were in their 30s. Everyone else giggled.

The congregation is delighted to see the number of children and young parents increasing.

thewhistler Tue 19-Mar-13 22:52:26

knowsabit, how do you get so many? All the Sunday schools are closing near us. Any tips?

Knowsabitabouteducation Wed 20-Mar-13 17:23:27

We don't have 400 children at every Sunday, but we have about 400 children on our books. We probably see 200 on any given Sunday. It is still chaotic at the start of the service!

We have a big church family because we are evangelical in teaching, and have four services every Sunday catering for every worship style. Our modern music attracts young families, along with relational children's and youth work. We have have five ordained clergy and a whole host of readers/pastoral assistants who can provide the right level of pastoral care in our parish and beyond.

We divide our church family into pastorates where people can study and fellowship together on a more intimate scale.

We work hard to ensure that we are serving our local community.

thewhistler Wed 20-Mar-13 18:50:06

V impressive

MarvellousYou Wed 20-Mar-13 19:09:35

During worship in our church, the children run around like loons (there's space at the back) but we make sure they are quiet if there is a reading or someone gives a testimony.

It's a lively 'happy clappy' church (evangelical/charismatic) quite reserved/ middle class (so room for people to grumble, maybe) but when I first joined the church I remember the elder prayed for more children in our church- God answered! We've had to move creche and sunday school into bigger rooms.

Find a church that doesn't tolerate gossip and that loves it's children, tantrums and all- in my limited experience attitude normally flows from the head down into the congregation. There's nothing more lovely than seeing children spontaneously clap and dance to a song (even if they don't always comprehend who they're dancing/singing for!)

Hope you and your children find a more tolerant church family soon x

noisytoys Wed 20-Mar-13 19:36:25

I just left a church that isn't tolerant of children. It was heartbreaking because it was the church I grew up in, but since going to the new church and seeing the difference and how welcoming they are of everyone, I realise I should have made the move a long time ago

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