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This room is dedicated to those who are facing the challenge of raising children without the support of a spouse. This is a place to share ideas and lend mutual support.

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Mar 31st 2013 new
You issue isn't too out of the norm. My daughter is 4 and is sort of accustomed to going to mass. We keep her busy with some small snacks (such as raisins or goldfish crackers)..I usually let her also bring in a childrens book. She is generally quiet and now understands when I ask her to be quiet. Of course she still wants to climb on the pews etc.

Personality of child is a major factor....however w routine/repetition it will get better. Good luck.
Mar 31st 2013 new

(Quote) Karla-113052 said: Good morning,I have a 4 year old foster daughter that I take to Mass with me. She is pretty m...
(Quote) Karla-113052 said:

Good morning,
I have a 4 year old foster daughter that I take to Mass with me. She is pretty much like any other 4 year old in Mass, can't sit still and it is challenging to keep her quiet . I pack a quiet bag for her with a few books and a small pad of paper for her to draw in. I am having a hard time paying attention in Mass now because I am so concerned with keeping her quiet. She doesn't like to be corrected so it can be challenging to remind her how she is expected to behave. Thankfully she hasn't had a temper tantrum in church yet but she crawls on the floor and under the pews to pout. I wish we had childcare for younger kids because I don't feel like they are ready to sit in Mass at this young age. I am a convert, was raised Methodist and went to Sunday School as a child and loved it. Any suggestions?

--hide--

A Catholic Pre-school program connected to a Catholic School is a good way to help a little one learn their faith. Once a week, or more, students go to Mass. The preschoolers go too. Usually older students-6th graders-volunteer to help the teachers by sitting with them throughout Mass and helping them. Catholic Pre-school teachers are teaching them the Catholic faith in the program too. When I was a Catholic school counselor, I used to volunteer to sit with the preschoolers. I love this age and they really do well. They are gently corrected in the moment. Usually the older students are assigned to sit with a particular student who is having a hard time that day or one that has ants in his pants or rubber-necking! I am so amazed at the level all Catholic students participate in the liturgy with great ease. It is beautiful!

Mar 31st 2013 new

(Quote) Karla-113052 said: Good morning,I have a 4 year old foster daughter that I take to Mass with me. She is pretty m...
(Quote) Karla-113052 said:

Good morning,
I have a 4 year old foster daughter that I take to Mass with me. She is pretty much like any other 4 year old in Mass, can't sit still and it is challenging to keep her quiet . I pack a quiet bag for her with a few books and a small pad of paper for her to draw in. I am having a hard time paying attention in Mass now because I am so concerned with keeping her quiet. She doesn't like to be corrected so it can be challenging to remind her how she is expected to behave. Thankfully she hasn't had a temper tantrum in church yet but she crawls on the floor and under the pews to pout. I wish we had childcare for younger kids because I don't feel like they are ready to sit in Mass at this young age. I am a convert, was raised Methodist and went to Sunday School as a child and loved it. Any suggestions?

--hide--
When my son was little, I always sat in the cry room with the other parents of little ones. I also gave him Christian coloring books when he was old enough to do that. It didn't take long till he understood being quiet in Church and we could move inside. I'd rather do this and encourage him then have him hate church because of too much harsh correction.

With a foster child, it is probably even harder as a lot of them come with so many issues. I know my beautician just got three little ones that she told me are going back because they won't listen and they won't stay in time out when she tries to make them listen. It is sad because she is older and I think 3 little ones too much for them. I'm afraid the states' rules of not allowing a small spanking might cause too many of these little ones to be bounced from foster home to foster home as these three little ones have been. I understand the rule as some foster parents were just as abusive as the real parents, but again, I'm afraid it makes it harder for the ones that could have done it right to discipline too. Either way, I'd never advocate a spanking for children who are loud at church....for other things yes, but not for church.

Mar 31st 2013 new

Also, in the cry room, you can do goldfish snacks too and just keep encouraging her to be as quiet as possible. Little ones are generally not geared to be quiet without harshness and again, wouldn't want to be too harsh regarding church since you want her to like it some day.

Mar 31st 2013 new

(Quote) Karla-113052 said: Good morning,I have a 4 year old foster daughter that I take to Mass with me. She is pretty m...
(Quote) Karla-113052 said:

Good morning,
I have a 4 year old foster daughter that I take to Mass with me. She is pretty much like any other 4 year old in Mass, can't sit still and it is challenging to keep her quiet . I pack a quiet bag for her with a few books and a small pad of paper for her to draw in. I am having a hard time paying attention in Mass now because I am so concerned with keeping her quiet. She doesn't like to be corrected so it can be challenging to remind her how she is expected to behave. Thankfully she hasn't had a temper tantrum in church yet but she crawls on the floor and under the pews to pout. I wish we had childcare for younger kids because I don't feel like they are ready to sit in Mass at this young age. I am a convert, was raised Methodist and went to Sunday School as a child and loved it. Any suggestions?

--hide--


ONe more thing I just thought of. My parents used to tell my nephews who went with them usually one at a time that if they were quiet they'd buy them an icecream after words....bribery, but oh well, it worked for them.

Mar 31st 2013 new

(Quote) Lauren-927923 said: HI Karla, kiddos in Mass can be challenging. But, they eventually get there :-)....
(Quote) Lauren-927923 said:

HI Karla,

kiddos in Mass can be challenging. But, they eventually get there :-). Sitting toward the front where she can see what is happening also helps. I found Mass a good time for calm cuddling. I hadn't even realized it so much until a friend of mine said she just loved it that my kiddos cuddled and hung on me. I began to appreciate those moments with one of them leaning against me and stroking their arm or holding them as they curled against me. I was calm and serene and they were calm and Mass was then accessible.

My son is almost 27, by the time he was about fifteen or so, he had developed a real leadership quality about him. We have one family at church who are very permissive in their parenting and seem oblivious to their children's behavior. We sat behind them often and one day Josh leaned over tapped the younger boy on the shoulder, picked him up and lifted him over into our pew, leaned down and whispered to him, then put his arm around his shoulder and pulled him close to his side. I wanted to cry. It was the first mass the younger boy was still. When he started to fidget or something Josh would glance down at him and give a disapproving look or a shake of the head. No fuss just calm authority and example. All the more remarkable because Josh could get himself in plenty of trouble himself, like at one of the parish lunches, we can hear footsteps across the roof of the parish hall, Father gets up to investigate, just in time to see Josh scramble over the little canopy in front of the doors, shimmy down the rail and plop to the ground. Of course he stops short in front of Father, who asks him what he's doing, then looks up to see a few other boys with him. Just playing was the answer. Fr. sternly told them all to get down then told Josh you may be part monkey that doesn't mean the others are, so no climbing on the roof, the other boys will follow your lead.

--hide--
lOvely story...I did lots of cuddling too during church along with those looks sooner or later they get it.

Mar 31st 2013 new

Karla, When my son was real young, I had him attending Montessori School. The head of the school taught me that it can be a good idea to blame things onto the clock, rather than simply being didactic. "It is time to be quiet now because we are at Mass." "It is time to go to bed now." "It is time to get out of the bathtub, and to dry off." "It is time to kneel now because we are at the Consecration of the bread and wine." Perhaps you could also alert your child ahead of time that when we visit church to attend Mass, and the Mass is going on, it is time to be quiet and to listen to the liturgy. I often found this approach to be helpful. I attended a church wherein there were few young people, and I did not have the opportunity to send my son to child care.

Apr 1st 2013 new
Hey Karla! I go to St. Tim's near you. We should get our kids together at a park sometime, here. It'd be fun to meet another single Catholic mom (and commiserate about CM lol). It must be hard to have a four-year-old who is not at all used to going to mass. Sometimes I allow my little ones to take a small special toy and then threaten to take it away if they misbehave. Its important to follow through if they do and then be ready to face the wrath. Also, I found that developing my threatening mommy "look" was priceless. But this starts at home. They pick up those angry mommy vibes and don't want to go there with you. Children are extremely sensitive to this. Remember, you are in charge, you are holding the cards, and you are the one who needs to win, and I agree that by four, this is an important battle to win. I would encourage you to stay at the church you want to stay at and not give up!!
Apr 1st 2013 new

I tried to time Mass to not coincide with a hungry time, and reserved snacks for "emergency" bad planning food-wise on my part. I also found that if I sat up front with less distractions, my children were better. Sometimes cry rooms enforce not sitting still. Usually people are far more patient with a youngster than we would as parents think. The rosary is very good too it gives them something to do. Maybe bring a few in your purse and change them up -- colored crystal beads. My mother could enchant any child -- even those that did not know her regardless of where we were, but her rosary usually kept them busy for a while, and the parents of the child generally seemed grateful!!

Apr 1st 2013 new

I also posted this elsewhere -- I counted down the number of songs LEFT during mass (including the mass parts). But tried to use just fingers to show that so they wouldn't think talking was appropriate.

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