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.
Saint Rita is known to be a patroness for abused wives and mourning women.
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Hi Cara, I used to go to St. Tim's. I went to high school at Dobson so would join my friends sometimes. That was before I officially became Catholic. She actually did well on Good Friday. Yesterday she was doing good but then got sick half way through Mass. Poor thing caught the stomach bug. I just keep reminding her how to behave at church. I am guessing she probably never went when she was with her mom so all things considered she is doing quite well. We should get together sometime. Do you ever do meetups? There is a single parent meetup that does some fun things. I haven't attended any yet but want to sometime. Do you belong to any singles groups out this way?
This is a good topic. Some people do not come to Mass with their children for fear of some irate person telling them off for making sounds. One woman even threatened to slap my boy for talking or something but not shouting or crying. Deeply upsetting. The Parish priest was so supportive he said that it did not matter what anyone said, families were welcome despite the noise, wandering up to the Blessed Sacrament and all.
I became aware that some of those complaining people were projecting their troubles and worries onto my boy. 'Allow the little children to come to Me'. So I continued what I was doing taking them to Mass. If any child is laughing , gurgling , la la la-ing there is no problem and now my children are older and serve at the altar I still have no problem with children walking around the aisles and chuckling and chatting to themselves etc. How do you know if they are not praying in their own way?
Practical advice.Pray for peace before you enter the church. Get her Sunday clothes so she recognises the Mass as a special event. Sprinkle lots of holy water. Sit at the front where they are involved. Let her be involved in the offertory presentation. Attend the sung Masses as children like music. Tell her before Mass what to expect. Sing some of the hymns to her at home so it is not completely new. This is great time to have hugs. Let another parishioner have her on their lap. And like someone said before get her known by your Parish priest. Give her money to put in the offetory basket. Light votive candles with her after Mass. Develop a super thick skin because you know why you go to Mass .If your child is not having a crying session why banish yourselves to the outer reaches of the crying room IMHO when there is a Mass to offer and gain blessings from?
So much good advice here about taking children to Mass. For many years I took my five children, ages 12-2 1/2 to Mass by myself after our divorce. I used many of the ideas suggested here and they were usually helpful. But I also prayed at many a Mass, God you know I'm here to worship but pour out your grace and strength even though I'm more focused on my children that on what is happening at the altar. I always found grace and strength at least enough to keep going for another week in just receiving Communion. Now there are all grown and gone and I like to tell parents I see struggling that this too shall pass.
There may be a solution. A lot of catholic churches have a cry room specifically for that purpose. Basically, it is a room separated from the nave (the main space) of the church by glass, so that the parents can attend the mass. There are loudspeakers in the ceiling of that room. The kids can be kids there without disturbing the rest of the church, because no noise comes out of that room.
I am sure in a few years this will be a distant memory.
When I started taking my son to church after his dad left, it was a challenge. We would go to the church close to us. One day his behavior was so bad, I left and drove over to another church where mass started 30 minutes later. I found that for some reason, he behaved better at the other church. We all have preferences as to what church, mass and priest we prefer and kids do to. I remember as a kid, I always liked Fr. Tom because his homilies were the shortest especially if mass ended close to the Bears kickoff time!
When I take my 4yo boy to church, we always "shake the sillies" out as we walk into church. It gives him a chance to release some of that energy. Our church also offers doughnuts after mass. My son is given his donation money and if he misbehaves, he looses one of the coins. If he doesn't have any left after mass, no doughnuts (this happened once and he got the point). I also pick him up during the prayers or sit down and move my fingers along the words so he can hear me saying them into his ear. I felt weird sitting when the congregation was standing, but I've gotten past that and have even had an older member of the parish compliment me on what a good mom I am for doing that.
We used to sit next to the musicians, but now sit in the first pew where he can see everything. I try to find younger children and point out that they do not know how to behave in church and that they are watching him to learn how to behave. On the other side, there are 2 "friends" in church that also sit in the front row that I use as examples of how HE is to behave. One is a grandfatherly man named Sargent Bob and another one is a young marine named Craig. We see Sargent Bob every week. He always offers my son the sign of peace and takes time after church to talk to him. Craig wore his uniform to mass the week he got out of boot camp. My son always wears a fedora to church and was intrigued by Craig's hat and what he did with it. After church we introduced ourselves and my son asked about hat etiquette. (we even stumped him when my son asked if being in the car is considered inside or outside when you have a hat ). These two men now set the example of how to behave in church. I will even say look over at Sargent Bob. When he stands, you stand. It helps.
Introduce her to the priest. Let her know that this is his church and like when you go over to friend's houses, his house, his rules. He expects you to listen to his stories and be quiet so others can hear them too. Don't you like when people listen to what you want to tell them? When you walk up to communion, he wants you to cross your arms so that he knows to say a prayer for you. Again with the doughnuts, Father always gets the first one, so no leaving early and so on. It does get easier and at 4 they will have their days, but I have learned that the majority of people at mass have been there and know what it's like