Sunday, March 8, 2015

Parenting In The Pew

No, I'm not talking about parenting as a Christian apposed to someone who doesn't attend church. I'm talking about the struggles of parenting a child in a church service.
If you've had a kid(s) and attend church you know the struggle of trying to correct your child and not draw attention to yourself. We hear stories of parents pinching arms, pulling ears, and whispering threats and we laugh, but it isn't so funny when we're the one having to do it. 

Sunday night Seth was in this noisy, not going to listen mood and in the middle of church service I'm not going to give my stern "Seth" So I try The Look and I point (with The Look). I try giving him things to keep him occupied, quiet, and sitting still.. nothing works the way I'm wanting. Well this is where threatening whispering comes in. If you know kids you know if you go to tell them something they don't want to hear or if they feel you're going to take something from them they back away. So instead of being able to simply lean towards him and whisper I'm having to grab his jacket and pull him to me just to simply whisper that he needs to be quiet, sit down, etc.

***Let me take this moment to say I applaud all the parents out there who go to church service after service just them and their kid(s) having no help throughout the services, especially if the kid is active!***

Having a kid and going to church isn't so bad when you have family and friends to help. I normally have 2-3 family members who help me with Seth and I'm SOO thankful. But Sunday night it was just Seth and I. Don't get me wrong I know that going to church is the right thing. I know that Seth and I need to be there, but services like Sunday night I can't help but feel like being there is pointless. All I wanted was for Seth to sit in my lap and be quiet so that I could pay attention to service, but instead I spent all my time focused on him and ended up completely out of touch with the service. I felt like the services lasted hours longer and I ended up feeling more drained than when I first walked in. I left having received nothing. Thank God that isn't typically how services go for me!

Every kid will at some point do something during service that you wish they wouldn't. And what do you do?

Your options are:
A. Correct them, which may force a little attention on you and make you feel like a bad parent because it's your kid being the pain. Correcting may or may not work the first time.
B. Ignore the issue, allowing your child to be a disruption and actually be a bad parent.

I choose A. But with the way people are today you never know what parenting style is going to offend the people around you. Personally I have no problem with timeout, spanking (spanking not beating!), taking away a toy, threatening to take away a toy, dirty looks, or whispering. But the whole time I'm trying to get him to behave I'm wondering, "Do the people around me think I'm handling this ok?", "Do they think I'm a bad parent?", "Are they wishing I'd take him out of the service?", "How loud does he sound from where they're sitting?", etc. I'm sure all parents have felt this way at least once.

Do I have any solutions? No. But.....

Good news parents!!!! This stage doesn't last forever! Every parent before us has gone through exactly what we're going through and look, they made it! So choose A. Correct that adorable, little pain in the rear. Ignore the things going through your head about what other people think because you know that correcting them is better than ignoring the problem. And remember this stage will be over before you know it... and amazingly one day you will miss it.

So take a moment with me to cry about your baby growing up ....................................................You done?.............................................................

Keep calm and parent from the pew!

"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." -Proverbs 22:6

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