Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Discipline and Children...

You all know (or do not know), that we have 4 children. They are all so different and have been since they were each born. It is what makes our family special and unique. I know that.

My problem is with keeping kids occupied during a Sunday Service or at a prayer meeting (that was tonight:-)

Pooky is almost 18 months old now. I feel silly not knowing how to get her to sit still. I have been raising kids for 11 years now!

People have approached me in the past asking how I did it? How did I teach my kids to sit still and behave whenever they needed to, it didn't matter where we were. It makes me feel good to know that my kids can behave, but then I feel like a failure when they don't...(that is not right, I know that already so don't slam me!!;-)

My oldest was by far the easiest child we have had. He just sat through everything, quietly and hardly ever made a noise. We would bring exotic and new things for him to eat during these times and he just ate his way through services at church. He has continued to be a very mature and responsible kid, 11 years later. Our church didn't have Sunday school for him until he was at least 2, if not later. There were not too many kids his age there at the time (if you look at our church now...18 month olds and up has had 43 kids at times...WOW what a difference!). We didn't have a choice, if we wanted to enjoy service, he had to learn to sit. We didn't have to do anything or teach him anything...

Then our second child, our first daughter. She cried quite a bit, but I don't remember her being much of a problem in church either. I believe she was in nursery from a younger age, but if she needed to she would sit still as well. With her, we had to teach her how to sit. The food didn't work, so we would spend time at home, reading the Bible and showing her how to sit nicely and respectfully. She learned that way. It was great.

Our third child, Cutie Pie, was a handful. She was a rocker. If I stood at the back of the church with her and rocked back and forth (that mommy dance, you know?), she was fine. I still ended up in tears during our Wednesday night services when she was a bit older (about 18 months, like Pooky) because she would make a bunch of noise and I would leave, so there would be no interruptions. It was a horrible time then, I felt like I shouldn't have bothered going. But, she finally learned. We did the same thing...reading at home and showing her the right behaviour, or bringing a bag of books and suitable snacks.

Now, with Pooky, she is at that age. She is almost old enough for Sunday school, but I think that when we tried to do Sunday school at the younger age with Cutie Pie, it backfired on her learning to sit nicely. So I don't think we will be putting her in right away (she is also a mommy/daddy suck and doesn't like it when we leave her-we tried leaving her once when someone needed our help and she screamed and ended up right back on my hip)

We have tried snacks and drinks, we have tried the toys and books in a bag, we have tried the walking and rocking. Nothing is working. Am I expecting too much from her? Is she too young to learn to sit? Was it just fluky with the different kids before her? Tonight, at prayer, I held her in my lap for a bit and then she started to fuss. So I stood up and tried the rocking at the back. When that didn't work I took her out told her no (which she understands, cause she started crying) and I just sat and rocked her in the rocking chair. I didn't let her play or walk around, we just cuddled. When she stopped fussing I took her back out. This happened about 3 times. She finally, in the end, knew that I meant business and was good for the end of prayer (like the last 2 minutes).

Am I on the road to training this one? Is there something else I should be trying? If you have any suggestions, I would be so appreciative. I am about willing to try anything now!!


  1. um at that age it is hard to know. but I am not one to ask.....I only went to a church where they had a nursery cuz I needed the time out. I think teaching them to sit still is great though and wondered if I should have done more of that, but I knew my frustration level and didn't push it!
    overall though I guess consistency is the best and it sounds like that is what you are doing so that is great!!

  2. You have and still are doing an awesome job with your kids! ALL of your kids are SO well behaved, even the littlest one who likes to have her voice heard. It does get easier with age. I remember asking myself, "Why bother" but it makes a difference in the end not only for the kid but for yourself and others that are watching and listening on how you made it through. It's a future testimony/story of how you handled that/this time in your life/family.

  3. You're doing really well with your children. All kids are different so keep trying, sounds like she is beginning to respond OK

  4. It sounds to me your doing the right thing keep up with what you are doing. It is very similar to what I ue to do. When we started to come to new song I had the 4 kids and no sunday school. I brought a bucket of stuff for them to do. There were things in there they could only do at church time. I would somtimes have to take them out but that is all a part of learning. As she gets older she will understand more and more.I'm sure you will see a big difference by thanksgiving. Your doing great Ruth keep it up.

  5. Ruth, I think that you are doing a great job with discipline. When we are consistant it shows the kids we mean business. I too felt as though I was wasting my time going to church for a while when nugget was younger, but he is doing a lot better now and I am able to sit through services without him being much of a disturbance (most of the time that is). Keep up with what you are doing and things will come easier as she starts to get a little older.