5 Ways To Help Your Child Sit Still In Church

You might be feeling like I do right now…that it feels like a dream when you actually get to sit in a church service and participate. I’m on my sixth toddler, without huge breaks in-between each toddler. There is hope though…I’m going to share with you 5 ways to help your child sit still in church and hopefully in time you can get back in that church service!

There are so many different opinions out there on teaching a young child to sit still. Some expect a child to sit still in church by the age of 1. Others think it’s amazing if a 5 year old can sit still.

I’m here to tell you there is no one-age-fits-all standard.

 5 ways to Teach a Toddler To Sit Still In Church! It can be frustrating as a parent to want to sit in church and listen to the message, but as parents of younger children it's not always possible. We are currently training our sixth child to sit still in church, and here are some tips!

Children have such different personalities that it’s really not fair to expect every child to be ready to sit still for 1-2 hours in church by the same age. I’ll tell you what’s normal for our family, and you might be horrified that we wait so late, or you might think we are crazy for trying so young.

It’s really subjective to what your own standard is, but my goal is not to be the model poster family for getting our children to sit still in church.

Years ago we used to be super firm about getting our children to sit still at a young age. We would take them out and spank them, make them sit still on our lap in another room; they would cry and cry….and make our Sunday morning pretty miserable.

Guess what? They all pretty much started sitting still around the same time whether we took them out and corrected them or not. For our family that is around 3 years old.

Here are 5 tips and tricks for teaching children to sit still.

Have sit time at home.

You want a moment of honesty? This is incredibly hard for us to do in our season of life. When we only had 1 or 2 children this was a huge priority.  Now that we have six children it’s not on my daily to do list. I’m trying to get all the homeschooling in each day, and I just don’t have 30 minutes for daily sit time practice.

Other excellent times are family devotions, however our youngest has screamed (very loudly) during those times. Her personality is intense, so those times have not worked.

If you don’t have a toddler with an intense personality (some might call it strong willed), then family devotions or when you sit down to read a book to your older children is an excellent time to grab that child and let them practice sitting on your lap. You know your child so only you can determine if it’s a good time.

When my oldest three children were younger I had a wooden bench that I bring into the living room and have them sit there while I read to them. They knew it was a learning time to practice sitting for church, but they also were able to listen to mama read to them.

Set Realistic Goals

Some people might think I’m stepping on some toes here, but I’d like to beg of you not to take your 12 month old out of church multiple times to spank them.  I’d venture to guess that if you just give that baby some more time they will learn to sit. I speak from experience here as a mother who has tried to follow all the parenting books that give the perfect way to teach a baby to sit still. It doesn’t always work like the books say.

Parenting requires a lot of patience. I’ve definitely had my patience tested with our current 2 year old, and all my friends heard about it when she finally sat in a church service. I was so excited that I had to share!

Your goals can be more optimistic for your toddler who is a very calm, peaceful baby. They need to be adjusted for the super active toddler who might take a little bit more time.

Go Sit Somewhere Else

Can you sit in the balcony at church? Is there a room where you can still see the service but not be in the sanctuary? Can you walk the child around but still hear the message?

At some point you have to feed yourself spiritually as a mother. If it means you are walking the child around to keep him/her happy so you can hear the sermon, that’s what has to happen. I’ve had some Sundays where my main goal was to focus on training my child. Other Sundays I desperately needed the encouragement of listening to a sermon, so I knew I would be walking the child around so I could hear.

I’ve even brought my Tula carrier to church and carried our youngest in that, just to give my arms a break.

Whatever you do, try to avoid the nursery full of toys if you are in the middle of teaching them to sit still. Right now I’m trying hard not to bring Sophia in the nursery, but instead take her to an overflow room that has a tv to watch the service so she is still learning we have to sit. When you take them to the nursery any sort of training for the day is gone when they see the toys. 🙂 If it’s a younger child and your goal is not for them to sit still yet, by all means use the nursery if need be.

Bring a Church bag

I have a special bag that I’m using just for Sophia right now. It’s full of quiet activities that keep her busy in church. I will say you really have to know the personality of your child when you decide on bringing a busy bag along. For some of my children it just made it worse. They became so distracted with everything that they never sat still and it was easier to just train them to sit on my lap.

Sophia is so incredibly busy that this slows her down, and we managed to make it through a Sunday morning and Sunday evening service in church recently! I was thrilled. 🙂

Matilda Jane Bag for quiet time bag at church.

I found a steal of a deal on this Matilda Jane Messenger bag this year! Normally a $75 bag, I got it brand new for $15! This is our church bag, and I love carrying it because it’s so pretty! 

Here are things I put in a church bag:

Coloring books – I’ve found that the smaller the coloring book, the easier it is for a toddler to quietly use it in church. Here is a cute coloring book that is a smaller size for a toddler.

Melissa and Doug Water Wow Books – These are the best ever! Just make sure the little water pen is full and this will keep your child busy! Sophia loves the one she has and I’m getting her more for Christmas.

Sticker Books – This keeps Sophia busy for quite awhile! She loves putting stickers on her hands and arms, and on paper. Then she peels them off and puts them back on her hands. Anything to keep her busy and quiet! You could look at the dollar store to stock up on inexpensive stickers.

Board Books – Sophia absolutely loves the Fisher-Price Little People books. I’ve tried different books and these by far keep her quiet and busy the longest. She loves all the flaps to lift up and every page has so many different pictures for her to look at. I definitely recommend these books for church! You can see the whole list of the Little People books here.

Magnetic Dolls – Don’t bring the whole set along as that could get overwhelming. I have picked out one magnetic doll and a handful of clothes to bring along, just enough to keep her busy without dropping tons of pieces and sorting through a whole box of clothes.

Notepad and crayons – Sometimes they just want to doodle on plain white paper! Don’t forget to throw in a simple notepad in the bag.

Matilda Jane Quiet Time Bag for Church.

The important thing is to not let your toddler be in control of the bag, and only get one thing out at a time! If the toddler has the bag they are easily distracted and they start pulling out all the toys at once.

We don’t do snacks in church when they are toddlers, it’s just what our family has decided on.

Teach them to sit still on your lap and on the pew.

I’m finding that my five year old is struggling to sit still in church right now. We recently started attending a new church and we don’t have our extended family there. She used to sit on her Aunt or Nana’s lap almost every service, and now that she doesn’t have that it’s a struggle for her.

Make sure that as they get older they can quietly sit next to you, as well as on your lap. Snuggles are lovely, but if you are having more babies you really need that older one to sit still in a pew.

Encourage the Positive Behavior

If you are teaching an older child to sit still make sure you encourage the positive behavior instead of just threatening what their punishment will be if they don’t sit still. Using the Little Character Badges chart for children ages 3-5 is an excellent way to do this! Use the empty line on the chart to write the goal for the child, and encourage them through daily sit time at home.

Little Character Badges Chart for children ages 3-5.

I hope this gives you some ideas! Teaching children to sit still doesn’t happen overnight – it takes a lot of hard work but the end result is worth it! 

If you liked this post, pin it to Pinterest to share with others! 🙂

5 ways to Teach a Toddler To Sit Still In Church! It can be frustrating as a parent to want to sit in church and listen to the message, but as parents of younger children it's not always possible. We are currently training our sixth child to sit still in church, and here are some tips!

 

 

Do Not Bow To The Gender Idol

Somewhere along the way it has become a crime to say there are inherent differences between a man and a woman.

And it has happened in my lifetime.

Another evidence of this just recently cropped up in the news. A senior engineer from Google wrote a company memo suggesting, among other things, “that men and women biologically differ in many ways.” He went on to suggest that these biological differences, though small, contribute to different strengths and weaknesses in men and women.

He said that “women on average, have more openness directed towards feelings and aesthetics rather than ideas. Women generally also have a stronger interest in people rather than things…These two differences in part explain why women relatively prefer jobs in social or artistic areas.”

This man ended up being fired by Google for “perpetuating gender stereotypes.”

What a sad world we live in.

For centuries it was a given that there are clear differences between men and women that contribute to clear differences in their strengths and weaknesses. Now it’s considered shameful to acknowledge this. Now everyone must bow before the altar of gender equality. This man refused (or forgot?) to and it cost him his job, maybe his career.

So there are real and present consequences for asserting that there are substantive differences between men and women. Does that mean we have to go along with it? Absolutely not.

To be sure, there’s a fiery furnace of sorts that awaits those who openly maintain a clear distinction between sexes (and the furnace grows hotter when you say that this distinction was purposefully designed by God). The good news is that just as this same God supported Shadrach, Mishach, and Abednego for not bowing before the idol of their day, so he is willing to support those who refuse to bow before the idol of gender equality. This is not to say that we will not endure ridicule, or the loss of our job, or worse, but as long as we remain faithful, especially in the midst of the fire, God will be faithful to help us in all our troubles.

What’s the alternative? Should we begin to pretend that, generally speaking, men and women don’t look, act, or think different than one another? Should I treat everyone I meet like a man? Or a women? Actually, if gender distinctions don’t exist, what are we all supposed to be? Have the powers that be decided that yet?

I really don’t care if they have or if they ever do. I am a woman and I feel privileged to be so. I will raise my daughters to cultivate the virtues of womanhood. I will raise my sons to cultivate the virtues of manhood; and I will raise both of them to embrace the differences between men and women and to rejoice in the God that made them. It should not be a shameful thing to acknowledge the peculiar strengths and weaknesses which men or a women possess respectively; God ordained it so and we should not try to pretend otherwise.

What if we acknowledged that men generally (please, I beg of you, don’t forget I just said generally) are stronger than women, and there are certain jobs they just are better suited for. When you drive by construction jobs, why on average do you see more men out there working then women?

Why can’t we accept that women can be (on average, generally speaking!), much more relationship minded, which makes them more suited for certain jobs? We women love connecting with people, and we are good at talking through what we feel.

These are not signs of weaknesses. They are not something to hide away and feel ashamed of.

When the world begins to lose site of who created them, which is God, the perspective of what God created men and women to be gradually disappears.

Stand strong, Christian families. Look to the godly examples we have been given and teach your children to strive after those godly traits. Encourage your boys to be men, teaching them about Moses, David, Joshua, and Noah, how these men stood strong at times, and how they gave into temptations and what happened. Teach your girls about Eve, Ruth, Mary the mother of Jesus, the Proverbs 31 woman, and help them learn from the lives of these women.

Each of these men and women had very important, but very different, roles to play in the kingdom of God. Notice also that these roles were not interchangeable. Moses clearly could not have filled the role of Mary, nor could Mary have filled the role of Moses. They each had unique calling that were suited to their unique abilities as men and women.

The world is quickly changing, but that doesn’t mean the ways of God are changing. His truths are unchangeable, unshakeable, and they endure to the end.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Top 5 Baby Essentials

Sophia is now 2 years old and even though we still call her baby she is officially a toddler. Life with her has been a crazy wild ride! She is still our most difficult toddler yet, she also has turned into being really sweet and funny as well.

I thought it would be fun to share what my top 5 baby essential items have been the past few years. After six children my list has been tested and tried, and I don’t have a lot of extra items included in the list.

Baby Carrier

Outside of diapers and wipes and clothes, this is my most essential item. I use my carrier a lot, and still use it with Sophia!

I’ve thought about getting a Toddler carrier now that she is 2, but for now we make the regular Tula carrier work. I’ve also used the Ergo baby carrier. I’m honestly not the best at using a baby wrap where I tie, but I’ve tried a few like the Happy Baby wrap before.

A Pack N Play

We haven’t used a crib for a few years because of the small house we live in. With 4 girls in one bedroom, having the baby sleep in a pack n play is essential. It’s actually worked out really well! It’s nice that they offer sheets for pack n play beds now!

A Teething Necklace

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t know if a teething necklace helps or not. Ha! But it’s the one thing I don’t mind trying that is “extra” and it honestly looks so cute on babies! We used one with the last two babies, and I’ll keep using a teething necklace if we have more babies.

Aden & Anais Swaddle Blankets

I’ve put off buying these swaddle blankets with my first 5 babies. I finally kept hearing everyone talk so highly of them that I purchased a set, and I can’t believe what I was missing! I absolutely love how soft and snuggly these blankets are. They are lightweight, yet extremely good quality. We actually used these blankets for a full two years, and I think one is still not packed up. I bought a cheaper swaddle blanket at a children’s consignment sale and it wasn’t soft at all so we never used it.

Car Seats

Car seats are another essential item, and after using them quite a few times I have my favorites! With an infant I love using the Chicco Infant seat. The ratings on it are excellent, the quality is great, and I love the classic, clean lines.

Once they outgrow the infant seat we buy the Diono Radian Car Seat. These are one of the smallest seats on the market so they worked well when we had our mini van. The ratings are also extremely high on these seats, and they last forever! We currently have two of these that we are using with our 5 and 2 year old.

While there are other items I use with a baby, these are the top items that stand out to me! I recently found a new baby company to shop from online, and since I love supporting smaller companies I wanted to share it with you!

The Baby Cubby offers some of the well known items that I shared about in this post, as well as hundreds of other items! The store is made up of parents who have first hand experience with what is needed. What really stood out to me is that they price match, even with Amazon! So if you find something cheaper elsewhere, you can email them and they will match that price!

While we are slowly packing away baby gear, I look forward to using it all again at some point, if the Lord blesses us! If you are expecting, drop a comment and let me know! I’d love to know how many readers are going to be having a baby soon!

*This post was sponsored by The Baby Cubby. All thoughts are strictly my own.

 

 

Why I Don’t Try To Save Money On Disposable Diapers

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Pampers at Sam’s Club. The opinions and text are all mine.

One of the most basic essentials that every baby (and toddler!) needs is diapers. If you cloth diaper, then you are set. Unless you just get behind on laundry (the story of my life!), then you won’t run out of diapers.

I’ve given up trying to cloth diaper. I just never can stay on top of laundry enough to add the cloth diapers on top of all my regular laundry!

Stocking up on diapers at Sam's Club!

Keeping disposable diapers and wipes in the house can be challenging. I’ve run out more than once, only to scramble to get the store quickly.

Recently I ran out of diapers yet again, and I decided to vary from the brand I normally get and grab a cheaper store brand pack of diapers. These things were super cheap, and I was so hoping they would work.

Of course it wouldn’t happen.

Within 24 hours of trying these new diapers on her, Sophia broke out in a really bad rash. I instantly knew it was because of the cheap diapers, and so I ended up wasting money because we used 2 diapers out of the package! It took several days to get her over that rash, and it wasn’t worth it.

Back to the name brand diapers I went! When I spend the money on the good diapers, it’s truly worth it. Each diaper lasts longer, because they don’t get soggy as fast.

Yes, I realize that is kind of gross…but hey, moms understand!

My biggest tip for staying stocked up on diapers is to buy the largest boxes you can find. That way you normally only have to buy a box once a month…or somewhere around there.

I always buy my diapers at a large wholesale type store, like Sam’s Club.

I can’t recommend this enough! I just grab my diapers and wipes when I go out to get groceries and then I don’t have to think about it until another month rolls around.

Right now Sam’s Club (in store or online)has a great deal on diapers. If you buy 2 items from Pampers diaper or wipe items, you instantly save $10, or buy 3 items and save $18! I would totally use this to stock up on diapers for the next few months.

I absolutely love the concept of Club Pickup at Sam’s Club! You can order online, and select Club Pickup and then you don’t have to even get out of the car! Just drive through and pick up your order.

Or you can use the Sam’s Club Scan & Go app, which sounds pretty neat. You can skip the checkout line and use your phone to scan items as you shop. Check out with the app, and the receipt will appear on your phone! This app is available on Apple or Android.

Right now with us working on our new house, keeping diapers in stock is a must! I actually have a big box of diapers and wipes just sitting in the formal dining room floor right now. I brought half of the box over to the new house, and kept some at our current house and some for my sister who is watching Sophia a lot for us!

I’d love to hear if you stock up on diapers for the month, or just grab small packages as you need them?