Sunday, April 29, 2007

Reverence

So, we've had a fun weekend involving a high school production of Beauty and the Beast, a baptism at church, Andrew and the kids planting our garden, and roasting marshmallows with our friends.

Yesterday, we had a women's conference at church. They are always worth my time. They offer great classes, socializing, and food. What more could I want? One of the classes that I took was on teaching reverence to children. The woman who taught it is a mother of seven. All of the kids are still at home right now and range in age from 2 to 18, I believe. And her husband is the bishop. And she's the one that got asked to teach about reverence. She's obviously doing something right. She shared some of her hard-won wisdom with us and it was great.

Now I'm trying to decide what things I want to apply to my life and what things are not going to work for me. It's so hard to know. I think my kids are actually at a pretty good place right now when it comes to church meetings. They are quiet for the most part. But, one of the things that this class made me think about is that just because they're quiet, doesn't mean they're reverent. Are they getting anything out of the meeting by being there? Are they learning to feel the Spirit? Obviously they're a bit young to listen to the talks, but how do I make that transition between just trying to keep them entertained and quiet in sacrament, to helping them worship and learn from the meeting?

The sister that taught the class doesn't bring any toys to sacrament meeting, just crayons and blank paper. The kids can draw pictures of what's going on in the meeting or what the speakers are saying. "They can also play with their hands, look around the room, or anything like that." This was a specific quote from the teacher who said these things very enthusiastically, trying to convince her kids that these were FUN things they were allowed to do in sac mtg. It was hilarious, but I don't think mine would be convinced.

What have you found that works for you to keep reverence in church meetings? Do you bring toys and books? What about snacks? (I know poor Amy has already shared her current experience with food in the chapel. I still feel bad for you!) For parents who have older kids (yes, that's you Ang), have they started to listen to the talks or are they still too young for that?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.

8 comments:

Sandy said...

I'd LOVE to hear more of the things you learned in this class...this is a HUGE issue for me - as I'm sitting there with my 2 semi-cooperative daughters and 1 completely uncooperative toddler who likes to spend his time in Sac. Mtg (when not screaming in the hall) chucking his shoes at unsuspecting people a few rows up or making loud animal or pirate sounds. This alternates with trying to make a break for the stand to sit by his dad...I can't wait to hear what all your wise friends and family have to say about this -- I'm gonna be checking! I try to bring church-oriented activities - books,the Friend, even mini-flannel board Bible stories, snacks, etc., but my son doesn't go for it. Its Lightening McQueen or nothing. I don't expect my kids to be perfect by any means, but I hate having our row look like it was hit by a tornado and all the people around us fake-smiling at me -- and then moving to the other side of the chapel the next week...So - to all of you who will tell Andi your tricks of the trade in the next few days, thanks from me, too:)

Laurie said...

My son just turned four and we've finally hit the sweet spot where he'll make it through the meeting. What a relief. What keeps him happy is the Color Wonder books. The only problem is they are expensive. I suppose there are word bingos and such they can do when they are old enough to read s they listen for certain words being said. Until then, I don't know how to do it without quiet books and these no-mess marker books. When he was littler we let him play with a matchbox car every week. Now I try not to bring toys. Instead we bring books to read, to color, to interact with. We also make him wait until the Sacrament is passed and done before he can munch on goldfish. The baby spends most of the time in the foyer.

Amy said...

Jack listenes intently and takes notes. Just kidding. He's only 14 months old, but I'd love to hear everyone's ideas.

Ang said...

We try to make the older kids listen to the speakers, but it doesn't always work. One thing we did have to nip in the bud was letting Ethan read, though. A couple of years ago it became too embarrassing to have his nose in a book at church! Mostly they draw or do puzzle books (mazes, wordsearches, etc.). We don't do snacks anymore, but did do them when the kids were little. Even still, we sometimes have trouble with Jonas talking too much or talking too loudly (whisper, Joe!!) and Elise moaning and collapsing on our laps from fatigue (we have sacrament last this year). But we're at a pretty good spot right now--which will last, oh, a few more months until Wyatt starts to get louder!!

Ang said...

Oh, and we do let them read if it's scriptures or scripture readers!

Denny & Joe said...

I am at the stage where I can offer no advice -- I just need it. Emma is a true handful during whatever portions of sacrament meeting she attends...it's the slowest hour of the week.

Denny & Joe said...

I am at the stage where I can offer no advice -- I just need it. Emma is a true handful during whatever portions of sacrament meeting she attends...it's the slowest hour of the week.

Destiny said...

At Robby's church they hand out sheets of paper to the kids that have little word searches about the lesson on them sometimes and usually about half of it has a blank spot that they're supposed to draw what the preacher is teaching about. I don't know how well it works but I thought it was kind of neat because I'm sure it keeps them entertained but it also tries to teach them a little ya know??