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How to Help Your Child like Church

My father used to say to us when we rehearsed the piano, “Put that thing away until you learn how to play it”, but we understood he was only teasing us.

It takes many days of practice and mistakes before any person can learn to play a musical instrument.

It is the same with church and children. Keep your children from attending church until they are “old enough,” and they possibly won't go to church then either. Here are eight advices for educating your child to have fun in an adult worship service.

1. Make preparation time a joyful time. Prepare clothes the previous night. Plan an easy breakfast. Put the dishes after eating in the sink if it means washing them makes a hurried trip to church. (By the time your kids leave home, you will have a lot of time to maintain a very clean house; if you still think it is still important at that time.)

2. Take a break. If your child goes to a children's meeting or a class before the worship service, take a break time in between. Bring your child to the drinking fountain or to the bathroom. If possible take a brief walk outside. However, remember not to make this break time too exciting because running or rough-housing could make it hard for the child to sit while the service is going on.

3. Sit in a good location. When my son was small, I realize he would sit calmly and enjoy the service if he can see the speakers and the choir. That means we sat on the very first row. If services often run past the time you can anticipate your child to sit down still, though you will likely want to sit close to an exit door.

4. Motivate your child to take part. Educate the child about the hymns and do the the hymnal with him or her. Even kids too young to read enjoy pretending. Educate the child to kneel or stand when the churchgoers does so.

5. Have the child something to do while the sermon is going on. Very young children may be required to bring a book or a quiet toy to keep them occupied. An older child might like a notepad for writing down particular facts of the sermon or for counting the number of times the priest repeats “church” or “faith” or some other word.

6. Compliment your child following the service. Be very careful about indicating bad behavior and even slower to discipline. Children who relate church service with punishments are not going to appreciate church. It is better to highlight what your child did that you liked (For instance, “You knelt so quietly while saying your prayer”).

7. Attend your church's social gatherings. Going to church is a religious event; we want to educate our children to praise the Lord. Attending church is also a social experience; all people should worship together. Children will appreciate church more when they make friends there. Social gatherings in churches are a good location to nurture those friendships.

8. Welcome the reality that your child will have mistakes. Adults from time to time think church very long and the pews unbearable. And in spite of your best actions, you may be sitting down, as I once experienced, behind a woman adoring a fox shawl with tails, heads, and paws. If you think that the kids just cannot contain their laughter, you may want to take them outside until they can pacify themselves.

At a time like this do not forget that your responsibility is to educate the child to acknowledge God and to praise Him, even if this sometimes makes other adults “upset” in the Sunday service.

In reality, you will realize that most adults are compassionate with your actions to educate your kid to attend church.

In fact, most adults welcome the developing of the church children as the task of the whole church. They are not upset; they are very happy you are there and that you brought the children with you.

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