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about toddlers at children's service?

(96 Posts)
Maybejustme Sun 13-Dec-15 14:44:22

DD is just 2. She's very lively and I spend a lot of time making sure she isn't getting into mischief. We don't go to church very often because she's unlikely to sit still and I don't want to disturb the congregation generally.
However, this morning was the children's Christmas service at our village church. I went along with a friend, who has a DD of similar age. The toddlers, as expected, didn't sit still and were bouncing around and jumping up and down in the area at the side. I figured, though, that as long as they were doing it relatively quietly (well mostly - there was the odd squawk) we wouldn't disturb the other kids and so didn't take DD out. Occasionally, she did make a run for the alter area and I had to pick her up quickly and tell her no etc. Whilst I was quite self conscious, I was generally glad we'd taken them.
However, there were a couple of older ladies who were pretty disapproving and one seemed cross with us both during the service and again on the way out. Aibu to think that this is what toddlers will do and that it's perhaps inevitable that there might be such behaviour exhibited at a service specifically aimed at children? It has reinforced my nervousness of taking her to church. I don't know if actually I'm just being really precious and actually we were annoying everyone but the others were too polite to say anything. ..

KittyVonCatsington Sun 13-Dec-15 14:46:33

No, you're not being precious. At a children's service that should be expected! I personally love seeing the little ones running about! Makes me glad my church is extremely family friendly.
Ignore those old ladies. Glad your little ones had fun!

Maybejustme Sun 13-Dec-15 14:46:35

Apologies - please ignore. Accidentally double- posted this!

WeThreeMythicalKings Sun 13-Dec-15 14:47:58

I wouldn't have let them wander about. Keep them in the seats with books, small toys or snacks. Wandering toddlers are a distraction and an annoyance.

IamCarcass Sun 13-Dec-15 14:48:48

Ignore the old ladies, it was a children's service! Feedback to the vicar that you had this experience, they sound very eager to get families with children in to their church and need to know how they can make it more welcoming.

LottieDoubtie Sun 13-Dec-15 14:49:08

flowers I was you this morning, except I didn't have a friend with me.

It's really tough- and I think the lady glowering at you was wrong on this occasion- it's not like you took 2 toddlers to midnight mass, this was the children's christmas service!

Unfortunately when people get stuck in their ways they can develop habits that seem rude to other people. Power through if you want to go.

IamCarcass Sun 13-Dec-15 14:50:35

If the church regard wandering toddlers as annoying they should offer a creche etc and not force all the children to stay in the church by having an all age service (which is I assume what happened?

Gileswithachainsaw Sun 13-Dec-15 14:52:08

It was a children's service confused

I am surprised there wasn't a toddler corner set out though so it was more chikd friendly.

listsandbudgets Sun 13-Dec-15 14:53:57

Ignore them

We took ds last week and he raced about all over the place. I kept trying to restrain him when the lovely vicar suddenly said " as you can see we have some very lively young children in church today. Please will you all treat them well keep them safe and enjoy their company.. parents please don't worry we have people on the door so they won't get out. Please all of enjoy the service whatever your age".

I nearly sobbed

CheesyNachos Sun 13-Dec-15 14:54:58

It was a children's service. One of my bugbears is churches that do not practice what they preach in terms of being tolerant and welcoming of families.

CheesyNachos Sun 13-Dec-15 14:57:29

I belong to a COE church that I hardly go to now because they are so unfriendly.

About a year ago i went to a catholic wedding at another church. In the middle a tiny baby started to wail. The priest paused.. then said; 'And the sound of a child, ladies and gentlemen, is the most beautiful sound we will hear in any church'.

It was a wonderful moment.

scarlets Sun 13-Dec-15 14:57:32

It was a children's service. The clue is in the name. Yanbu.

However, it would have been sensible for the church to have provided a toddler corner as a pp said, so that adults and older children could enjoy the service in relative peace. I bet the misery-guts ladies would've had a whinge about that too, though - some folk seem to enjoy being peeved.

Janeymoo50 Sun 13-Dec-15 15:02:41

It's all about finding the middle ground though (from both sides), none of us saw exactly how your little girl was behaving and sometimes we don't see quite how bad they are at times. Sounds as if with her bouncing around at the side and making a run for the altar area she may have been a distraction for a lot of people, but I do totally accept she's a lively two year old. A crèche for the under 3's was a weekly event at our church as far back as the 80's.

debbietheduck Sun 13-Dec-15 15:19:09

At a children's service people should expect there to be children and little ones can be disruptive, it can't be avoided sometimes. They are part of the congregation too and are entitled to be there.

debbietheduck Sun 13-Dec-15 15:20:33

Sorry that wasn't very clear - I meant that the small children are also part of the congregation and entitled to be there like anyone else!

honkinghaddock Sun 13-Dec-15 15:22:53

I wonder what Jesus has to say on the subject.

megletthesecond Sun 13-Dec-15 15:23:09

Ignore them.

We go to a child friendly service a few times a year. The vicar doesn't mind kids wandering around (my 7yr old is always on the go) and they are also involved in the service.

Chrisinthemorning Sun 13-Dec-15 15:25:01

I think your church is the problem not you. We were at family nativity service this morning and it was pretty chaotic. Toddlers running about everywhere - one even fell off the stage and the vicar scooped her up and gave her back to her mum. It was a lovely service.
Is it the only service today? Ours has a 9.30 communion service and 11.00 family service, so anyone intolerant/ grumpy goes to 9.30. If it's a joint service with communion, eg Easter Sunday, Remembrance Sunday, Christmas Day- we avoid as they are a bit more formal.
It helps that our vicar has 4 kids and his wife is very involved too (in the church- she is obviously involved in the kids!)
I would try different services at different churches.

Owllady Sun 13-Dec-15 15:26:07

It was a children's service and t would Jesus do? hmm
This is what annoys about the CofE
I'm particularly religious but my daughter who has Sld/complex needs loves going to church and its just not viable because of your experience, but imagine it with someone sixteen years old

Owllady Sun 13-Dec-15 15:27:41

I'm not particularly religious

Chrisinthemorning Sun 13-Dec-15 15:28:18

Also we do have a room at the back for children but no one uses it. This morning the toddler play area was next to the pulpit because we were doing scratch nativity.
I do stop DS playing with the audiovisual equipment though as that's a step too far. He's usually happy up at the front accompanying the music on his ukulele, complete with rock guitar moves!

SevenOfNineTrue Sun 13-Dec-15 15:30:24

To me, YABU. Yes it is a children's service but I would expect the children to remain seated during the service and kept amused with books etc if they get restless. I would not expect them to be running around. They might as well not be there if all they are going to do is play IMO.

Askja Sun 13-Dec-15 15:31:01

This www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+19:13-14

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sun 13-Dec-15 15:32:16

I wonder what Jesus has to say on the subject.

Didn't he say small children should suffer.... wink

Imustgodowntotheseaagain Sun 13-Dec-15 15:32:19

If churches don't welcome children they will run out of congregation. My village church has an early service for those who want traditional hymns,service books and no children, and a mid-morning service where children can run about, colour in at a table at the back, or go out to Sunday School and come back at the end of the service to show us what they've made. I'm the first to get grumpy when kids run about in restaurants or cinemas but I think it is lovely to see them in church.

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