By Robbie Castleman
Here are some helpful tips as you parent in the pew:
- Explain your expectations for your child’s behavior at church. Tell him or her how you want them to behave, participate, etc. Remind him/her of this throughout the week.
- Begin talking about going to church early in the week. Speak enthusiastically and remind your child that worship is one of the most important activities that we do all week.
- Make sure that you and your child get plenty of rest on Saturday night.
- Allow your child to choose his/her outfit for Sunday and explain that it is important to make sure that we get our clothes ready the night before. Don’t forget to select your shoes, socks or other accessories and lay them out in a special place.
- Make sure that your child eats breakfast before coming to church. Remember: an empty stomach has no ears!
- Before the worship service begins, take your child to the restroom and/or water fountain.
- Choose a seat where your child can see who is speaking, singing, etc. Sit on the side and close to the front if possible.
- Allow your child to get his/her own bulletin. Read it together as you anticipate the service.
- Be ready to explain to your child the different elements of the worship service and why we do these. Remember: your child may not have experienced this situation before.
- When the Worship Pastor is leading the congregation in a song, you and your child should be singing with everyone else. When the Worship Pastor tells everyone to stand you and your child should stand and sing. Teach your child the importance of worship.
- If your child becomes disruptive during the service, take them out and explain to them that his/her behavior is not appropriate. Return to the service as soon as possible to let your child know that misbehaving is not a free ticket home.
- Praise and thank your child for positive behavior.