Today we’re going to be getting into the specifics of how I keep my kids occupied during church services each week.
Let me start off by saying (as I did in my previous post, Making Sense of Church with Kids) that snacks and entertainment are not the end goal, here.
If you’ve ever taken a baby or a toddler to church, you know how long a church service can feel. If you’ve taken a baby AND a toddler to church, you may not have gotten to the end, and if you did it all without another adult to help you–go make yourself a tray of brownies, because you deserve it.
In our home, the (very few) hours between waking and getting to church each Sabbath morning are very busy ones. We get up, get breakfast on the table
For Christian parents, discipleship of our kids has got to be the number one priority. One vital component of discipleship parenting is family worship. If you haven’t already read my post about why you should be having family worship, take a minute and read it now. I’ll wait.
Okay, so now that we’re all on the same page and you’re convinced (or you’ve been reminded) of how necessary family worship is for you and yours, let’s talk about how to make this worship time successful.
Last night we broke our evening routine and got home close to 10 p.m. after some family festivities. Our kids are usually in bed by 7:30 (and we often aim for 7), so we shortened the all-important bedtime routine considerably. For us, speed is of the essence when we’re late for bedtime, because our sweet little toddler, E, has a tendency to turn into a raging ball of pure tantrum when he’s short on sleep. So, we skipped his (almond) milk, and we rushed the toothbrushing.
One thing we did not skip, though, was having family worship. E looks forward to our family worship every night (and he has since before he could talk). Sometimes, like last night, we shorten our worship time (much to E’s chagrin–choosing a shorter story than usual almost caused a meltdown), but we don’t leave it out of our routine, even when everything else is out of whack.