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church services - too young??

(13 Posts)
freewheeler Sun 08-May-05 16:34:27

I've been persevering trying to get my DS (2 this month) to sit through a church service, or even a sunday school class with attendance at the end of the (CofE) church service, but this morning was one stressful morning too many... he would not sit still even for 5 mins while the other children were doing readings and was clambering on the altar rail and moving the pews around... I was mortified, even though I have searched out a really tolerant church here, loads of children etc. clearly his behaviour was really distracting for everone else - he seems to become a tearaway toddler as soon as we enter the building.
Others have suggested he is just too young and I should leave it for a bit before trying him with church again, but my feeling is that if he doesn't get into the habit of going now it will just get worse... any suggestions?

Tommy Sun 08-May-05 16:39:46

My DS is a bit like this. I'm always mortified every Sunday but everyone I mention it to has said that either they don't even notice him or that it's great he feels so at home in church! I'm sure it's always worse for the Mum than other people. I'm afraid I use lots of bribes and threats to try and get him to sit still but he does really love going to church and I want to encourage this. I'm sure you're right in syaing that if you leave it until he's older he own't get used to it. You should keep going with it - and do as I do - every so often I go to a "grown up" service on my own to get a bit of peace

happymerryberries Sun 08-May-05 16:44:56

Blimey, take him. How can people ever expect children to learn how to behave in a situation if they are never allowed into it? And anyway, suffer little children and all that....

starlover Sun 08-May-05 16:46:26

I don't think he is too young.
I do not attend church myself, but my Mum does and has come home recently talking about badly behaved children (older than yours I might add! and old enough to know better too!)
Anyway, there are a few couples there who have taken their babies from birth who seem to have no problem with them!

I think tricks include keeping them on a lap, taking something to eat/drink etc
It is a long time to sit still etc, but as you're obviously aware climbing on the alter rails etc isn't really on, especially during a service, and the more he does it, the more he will think it's ok to do it!
Have you thought about getting someone else to sit with him, or tell him to sit down? It's amazing how good they tend to be for OTHER people!

toomanypushchairs Sun 08-May-05 16:51:41

I felt just like you, I have dt's both boys who are 2yrs 5months. It got to the point a while back where I stopped taking them because they couldn't even manage the 15mins before the children go out to sunday school. As for the monthly parade service (my dh and dd and ds are all in the brigades, so no help from them!)forget it! However in the last 2 months things have really begun to improve. Last month we made it for 45mins and today they lasted the whole hour! They did speak to me a bit too loudly a couple of times but I just whispered at them that they should whisper to me. We also took a pot of raisins for each of them and some pencils and paper. I do try to find an uncrowded pew so that they can walk up and down....
so things are getting better, so hopefully it won't be too long for you, before things improve

freewheeler Sun 08-May-05 19:21:04

Yes, you are all correct, I must just keep trying! Although I think reading your messages I could be better prepared... also Tommy you are right, I could "treat" myself to the odd evensong which might remind me why I used to find going to Church a pleasurable experience!

MarsLady Sun 08-May-05 19:24:39

glad to see it all resolved. I echo the poster who said that it bothers you more than most. They won't learn how to behave if they don't go. Hope it settles for you soon. My DTs are just about enjoying the creche. Here's hoping that they contine to enjoy church and to behave or I shall be just like toomany.

Hi toomany... long time no post

Aero Sun 08-May-05 19:31:25

Do they have a creche? Tbh, I couldn't face it at all if I had to have ds2 (15mths) for the whole of the service, but he sits in his buggy for quite happily for about 15 minutes when everyone is in church and enjoys the singing etc, then goes out to creche for most of the remainder. Ds1 and dd are old enough now to behave and amuse themselves with colouring or whatever until SS time. And despite me being mortified if they are playing up, it is true that no-one else bats an eyelid.

Ameriscot2005 Sun 08-May-05 19:33:33

We have lots of restless toddlers in our church! We've BTDT and thankfully lived through it.

I think the best way to stop them from getting out of their seats or off your lap is distraction - little books and little toys. We have "goody bags" in our church for toddlers - they are filled with (silent) toys and board books (bible stories) and it is possible to whisper the story to them while the rest of the service is going on (it's less distracting than having a toddler attempt to dive into the baptistry!). You can intersperse reading the story to them by reading the liturgy (if your church still does handouts) at the appropriate times, and of course include your child in the singing and prayers. You could also take colouring with you, and little snacks.

It does get better - honest! You just have to persevere and they soon get used to it. We have 300 children in our church, and the only ones that are a "problem" are the 18 - 30 months olds.

ja9 Sun 08-May-05 19:52:01

Great advice Ameriscot2005. 300 children . Wow!

Ameriscot2005 Sun 08-May-05 20:35:35

That's from CYFA (14 - 19) down to crèche. The church is very peaceful when the children leave for their groups.

Actually, I think it's only 200 children and 300 adults rather than the other way around. I have about 60 regulars in my Explorers (7-11) group.

tiddlypom Sun 08-May-05 20:53:55

My ds used to be a complete tearaway in church, although I did take comics for him, which helped a bit, and he used to like making a den under the pew!

Don't EVER take kids to a Remembrance Sunday service before they can be quiet though - disastrous

I hope all previous posters and persisters will take comfort from the fact that ds, now 11, is a choirboy and can't be kept out of church even if we wanted to!

freewheeler Mon 09-May-05 12:41:01

Thanks, Tiddlypom, I'll live in hope then!

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