A Palm Sunday without cereal - Catholic Courier

A Palm Sunday without cereal

I was nervous as we walked into church last weekend. Getting through Mass with two little kids can be tough on a regular day, and I wasn’t looking forward to Palm Sunday’s extra-long Gospel and distracting palms.

As it turned out, my kids were awesome. Honestly, they’ve been much better in church over the past few months, although they still have their moments. I’m not saying this to brag, but to provide hope for other frustrated parents.

I’m not sure what’s responsible for our girls’ improved behavior, but I think part of it has to do with our approach these days. We used to pack a bag full of books, soft toys and snacks to keep them occupied. We still pack snacks and books for emergencies, but now our main goal is to try to engage them in the Mass rather than distract them from it.

Both girls now love to point to the priest, altar servers and candles during the processions, shake hands during the sign of peace and listen for the bells during the consecration. Our 3-year-old loves to sing, "Hosanna in the highest" during the "Holy, Holy, Holy," and her little sister loves to "sing" along when the congregation sings. The two books we do bring are Mass-related, and we try to use cereal only as a last resort.

I never thought we’d make it through Palm Sunday without breaking out the cereal, but we did. Our family is not perfect, but this works for us right now. I have some parent friends who love crying rooms, while others like to sit up front so their kids can see the action. I think no matter the approach, the most important thing parents can do is keep bringing their kids to Mass and trying new things until they find what works for them.

Good luck!

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