Lots of moms and dads struggle with their little ones during church services. It’s certainly nothing new to feel overwhelmed when trying to keep a wiggly child quiet and still when it’s time for a prayer or a sermon is going on. Here are a few tips on things you can do to help your children and others enjoy church more fully.
Teach Blanket Time
Teach your baby about boundaries. At home, put your baby on a blanket and train them to stay on it. Have a few special toys just for these training sessions. Whenever they begin to crawl off, as soon as their little hand touches the floor off the blanket, say “no” in a low tone. Place them back on the blanket and smile, say “Stay on the blanket.” Let them learn to play alone for this time. Don’t entertain them yourself. They will learn that when they are on the blanket, they are to stay there. Do this for about 5 minutes each day for a few days. Then increase the time by 1-2 minutes each day until you reach 30 minutes.
Once they are trained to stay on the blanket, you can take it anywhere with you! Church services, a women’s meeting, a friend’s house… and no need for a playpen. Just put the blanket down and they will stay on it and play quietly. (Read, “Be The MOM: How to Take Charge”)
2. Only a FEW Toys
Children will go through toys in a hurry if they know there is a boatload of them. Instead, have a few special quiet toys or books that are just for church time. They do not get these at home. They will learn to make those toys last and it will be much less for you to carry! Same for a long car ride. The fewer toys, the more they will use them and the less you will have to carry. This goes for snacks too.