Here are some helpful thoughts in this area!
If you would like to share something that has worked well for your family, please email me I would like to share it! Info@theideadoor.com
- Reverence at Church
- Reverence and respect: teaching children forgotten principles
- Quotes on Reverence
- Reverence Bookmarks
- Reverence Crown
- Reverence Signs
- REVERENCE MOUSE
- Heavenly Rewards (rewards for reverence )
- How We Improved Reverence
- Caught Being Reverent
- Ten Tips toward Reverence
- To the Primary Children on Reverence Vaughn J. Featherstone
- What If Everyone Played in the Chapel?
I do not claim to be a expert, but what I can say is "been there, done that, tried that" So I thought I would share my thoughts in this area. At this time my kids range from 13-22 so, I think I have covered pretty much all the age groups. Also I have a very sarcastic attitude, so please remember that when reading my thoughts! I know that these ideas are not for everyone, and every child is different, but something as simple as what is ok in sacrament meeting, can train your children for the rest of their life. If we can not be reverent in Sacrament Meeting, then it must be a free for all everywhere else.
Remember these are my thoughts! Everyone is different and things work different for everyone. I boy no means am saying that this is the only way to do things, well.............. maybe I am, ok I'm not, (laughing out loud!!) all kids are different and hence learn different and act different. So maybe, something I have written below will just give you an idea or help you!
- Teach by Example: When we are told Teach by example, I think that is the number one best thing we can do for our kids, when we are always late for church or in a bad mood getting ready for church, screaming at the kids to get there shoes on, brush their teeth etc, we already start Sunday out bad, and then we enter church mad and frustrated. We need our kids to know we love church and it is VERY important to be there on time, hence setting the right mood for church. To make sure you are on time, set your mind and kids minds that church is not at 9am but at 8:45am, you don't leave at 8:45 you leave before that with plenty of time to get there by 8:45am, then your kids have time to get that last minute drink or go that bathroom, we always leave 20 minutes before church begins, the kids have time to say hi to their friends, get a drink go to the bathroom, and walk off any last minute wiggles.
- Leaving during Sacrament Meeting: I do not let my kids get up and leave during sacrament meeting (I know I am a mean mommy) I feel there is NO reason they can not sit there for just over an hour. They will sit through a whole DVD, or a couple of Sponge Bob cartoons, watch CSI, or watch a whole Basketball game and never leave their seat, for a drink or to go to the bathroom. My kids can even sleep through the night without getting up and going to the bathroom, or wetting their beds, I think they can sit through sacrament meeting. (see Vaughn J. Featherstone, *Friend to Friend: Reverence ) Of course there are always times when it can not be helped, but we are the parents and we should make that call. I usually ask them to wait 5 minutes, (if there is less then 15 minutes left, they can hold it!) I watch them and see how they act, more times then none they forgot about it! And another thought, if your kids are in school I can pretty much guarantee that their teachers are not letting them go to the bathroom every hour. Please remember that I know every child is different, I know if you are potty training a child or they are VERY young the last thing you want is a mess on the floor, But it will not take them long to figure out that, that gets them out of the chapel.
- Treats: As for treat in sacrament meeting, when my kids where ohhhh, probably 4 to 14 our Stake President came out and asked that no food be brought into the chapel, I was so happy we were passed that stage. Because at times with younger kids that was a life savor. So I guess it all depends on the area you live, if they are ok with snacks in the Chapel, just remember less is more, if kids think they have 5 things to choose from, then they want to try all 5 items, a good idea is to pick a treat, that is not normal to everyday life and have that only for Sunday. Then you have a fun treat to give them AFTER they have sat reverently for a few minutes depending on their age. I know that does not work for toddlers. Also do not let them carry it around, that is how they get spilled and then smashed into the carpet If you have a strong will child that might scream if they don't get their own way......good luck, but remember you are the boss, I guess I would have two bags, one with the full stash and another one that I would put like 5 cheerios in and let them carry that around. I knew of a family that pretty much brought lunch to church for their kids, (yes church was like 11-2) they would bring then all water bottles or juice boxes, sandwiches and yogurts, the kids (she had 5) and all - even the older ones would enjoy lunch, they left a huge mess, they spilled yogurt on the floor, sometimes peanut butter would be smeared on the seats. it was terrible, plus all the kids around them would be watching them and telling their parents they were hungry. If you have church during lunch time, might I suggest you alter your lunch schedule for that day, have a larger breakfast, and maybe a larger snack right before they leave or in the car on the way there.
- Toys: This is a tough one, again this depends on the child, but I will stick with the "less is more" a child will want to try everything you bring. Remember to bring toys that are quite, don't bring toy cars or trucks and except a young child not to want to make the car sounds when playing with them. I made my kids wait until after the Sacrament to be able to have any kind of snack or play or draw with anything, no church does not end when the sacrament is over, but at a young age they need to learn patience, of course VERY young babies or toddlers don't understand that, so it will be very different for them. Maybe for toddlers you just have books before the sacrament, then after that you can pull out the coloring crayons and other toys. Also try during the sacrament to have them put everything away, or just use a special book on the sacrament or about Jesus. Quite books to make or print After a certain age kids don't need anything, I was recently sitting in fireside and some 16 year old boys had some little toy skate boards and were playing with them, I was wanted to laugh out loud, here these boys that are Priests are having to play toys!
- Cell Phone: Just a quick note on this, as a parent, if we are playing with our cell phone, if it rings, or we play a game on it, then all we are doing is saying PLAY kids, text do what every you want. Cell phones do not belong in church. If you must have your phone turn it on silent. I have seen (being in YW/YM) how the cell phone can run a child's life, we recently had to have a cell phone box, and have asked the kids that if they bring them they have to go in the box during church or mutual, you would have thought we cut off an arm, they go crazy, don't be a naive parents (been there done that) kids can text while not look at the phone, I have one girl who if her parents knew she had it would kill her, but she sticks it down her shirt, and she will pull it out and text behind a hymn book without even looking. Have your kids leave their phones at home, you are at church with them, they don't need to talk to anyone else during that time. No cell phone is needed to make a call to our Heavenly Father.
- Where to sit! Of course again, this is a personal opinion, but I have learned over the years, that kids do better on a bench, if that means you have to plan on getting to church earlier so you don't end up in the over flow, DO IT! In the chairs kids think of them as a climbing toy, things fall off them easier, they fall over easier, they are noisier, a lot of the time the chairs are set up on the gym floor, SO NOISY, plus any noise your child makes echoes! When my kids where younger and smaller I loved sitting in a side bench (it was really great when my husband was in the Bishopric) I would sit on the end so my kids could not get out. My kids are were not allowed to wonder the isles, I never once had to chase my child down the isle, I think I would have died of embarrassment. Also don't out your baby carry in the isle, it gets in the way of the deacons passing the sacrament, or as other people might have to leave.
- Remember we are in the house of the Lord, and I know I would not want kids climbing on my furniture, or eating in my living room, if you get the chance take your children to help clean the building when it is your wards turn, they can see some of the mess that gets left and see that others clean it and hopefully learn to be more respectful of the Lord House.