I tried a new (scary) thing this past weekend at church.
I brought my almost-4-year-old son way, way up front in church to sit.
And we both survived the experience.
A little background: I was trying out a suggestion from commenters on a Catholic blog. The blog talked about a single Catholic who was snapped out of daydreaming at Mass by a noisy toddler. Several people said they struggled with encouraging good behavior on the part of their kids in church — and these struggles are very familiar for me!
Although I try my best to keep my son engaged in Mass, by the end of Mass I’m usually at my wits end and employing three Bs: books, bribery and badgering.
But on this blog, several parents suggested sitting up front. I usually sit in the back of the church so that we can make a hasty retreat if needed and so that we will distract the fewest number of people.
But I have to say that sitting up front made sense. It’s a lot easier to see and hear. It’s also nice to be able to show different stained-glass windows to my pre-reader.
During Mass, my son still persisted in chatting during quiet parts and reclining across half of the pew — behaviors I am hoping he’ll soon outgrow — but he did straighten up to watch the consecration.
It also was the first time in a long while that he has sat through Mass without any sign of rebellion or surliness. I do wonder if the novelty of the new location could wear off after awhile, but sitting up front definitely is worth another shot, in my book.
What works for you in engaging kids in Mass?