Maintaining your sanity with kids in worship

Having your kids with you in worship can try your patience.

OK. It can really try your patience.

Sigh. Face it, the possibility exists that your patience may never be the same if you keep them in the worship service with you. It may need therapy, actually, if not physical intervention to keep it from doing itself harm. You patience may not be made for this sort of commitment.

But in the long run its not only your responsibility, it’s worthwhile. We talked about that yesterday. It’s the parents responsibility to make sure that their child is brought up in a way that they have every opportunity to know the Lord. For the Christian, this isn’t a debatable point.

Here’s a few tips to help keep you sane. The list is by no means exhaustive so feel free to add your own in the comments.

A good Sunday starts on Saturday Night
The first thing you must have is good planning and execution. If you arrive at Church on Sunday morning already at a high boil, your kids are likely to be in the same shape. For their own good, send them to children’s church or whatever. However, if you arrive at church in state of mind that allows you to calmly deal with their minor transgressions—there are going to be several, brace yourself—then you won’t have to threaten them with death and dismemberment to get them to be ‘relatively’ still.

Lay clothes out on Saturday night

Have a bible study and ‘pray up’ the night before

Get to bed on time or at least at a reasonable hour.

Sunday morning
Get up early enough to get yourself and your family ready. Men, this doesn’t mean getting up early to get yourself ready. This means getting up early enough to get yourself ready and handle the kids breakfast and at least putting their clothes on them. This will allow your wife to get ready and feel good enough about it that she won’t be ready to kill you when she sees you sitting on the couch waiting for everyone else.

Don’t overdose on coffee. I’m always jittery enough on Sunday morning as it is. The extra caffeine raises your blood pressure and drinking the cup takes time and attention away from what you should be doing.

Wives, go easy on the ribbons and bows.

Do what you can to keep the kids from overloading on sugar during Sunday School. Some teachers think they can’t teach the word of God without a tray of cupcakes.

We take a ‘goodie bag’ to the worship service with their bibles, notebooks, pencils so they can ‘take notes’. We don’t let them get anything out, though, until the singing is over and the preaching begins. It’s like their reward for being good and singing and praying. This generally lasts until the sermon is almost over.

If they’re bad, don’t freak out in the sanctuary unless you just can’t get around it. I try to let the kids know that there will be a time for retribution when we get home.

No one ever died from having to carry a screaming child from an auditorium. Don’t panic.

These are some of the things we try to do. How about you?

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