Cry Room Problem


#1

So here goes...

Every Sunday I go to church (an Anglo-catholic one). I have a 6 yr. old that behaves very well besides the wiggling once in a while. My 9 mo. old is very well behaved too but when she gets cranky (starts to make little cranky noises) I immediately take her to the cry room to rock her to sleep so we can return to the service.

My problem is there is an 9 year old child that is in there "playing" and such. She is not disabled in anyway but tells her mother that she's "sick" and needs to go to the cry room to sit. (I don't understand how you feel less sick in the cry room than in the pew sitting) anyway it used to just be after the communion just before church was over now it's through the whole service and she comes out for her blessing (Anglicans don't give communion to most kids until they are 14) then she returns to the cry room and her playing. After church she runs and plays with my daughter and the other kids no problem.

She's not a "bad" child just not interested in church obviously. Her younger sister age 7 sits quietly with their mother and their son age 6 is the boat boy who sits quietly up at the altar. I think the mom just doesn't want to deal with the problem and feels that if she forces her to sit there that she'll "hate church".

It's annoying for me to see children out of control (really she is-just not the screaming and running point) and see them in the cry room playing while I'm trying in vain to get my whiny baby to sleep while there is another child playing in there. (she's not loud by any means just distracting to the baby) I don't know what to say to the mom, we've had a recent argument about abortion and haven't spoken for like 3 weeks until last week so I'm not sure how to go about this. (I'm pro-life and she took the side of a pro-abort) The dad of the little girl is an altar server too like my husband and he came from an Evangelical home where he was forced to pray and such...

I know that talking to the priest would be useless because I've complained to him before about another guy who brings his 4 and 5 year olds to the cry room and leaves them while he sits in the pew. (they are loud and obnoxious and waaaaaaay out of control). The priest told me it's sensitive and that he doesn't want to "scare anyone off". It's a dying parish with my kids, and two other families with kids (the ones I mentioned). Lots of old people.

Anyway any recommendations would be appreciated,
DoT


#2

I don't know what to tell you other than just avoid the cry room since evidently no one is going to do anything about it. :shrug: Maybe just stand in the back of the church swaying with the baby to get them settled down. If someone asks you why you don't go to the cry room, you can be honest about the distractions. If it is taking away from your peace when you are at church then it is not worth going in there.

Now, if I was in there and those 4 and 5 yos were in there causing distractions, I would tell them to sit down and be still. If they didn't like it, they could run to dad. But, that is just me. I tend to be bossy when children are doing wrong, especially if their parents won't step up. Same with the 9 yo, I might say something like, " I thought you weren't feeling allright? I am trying to get the baby settled down. Please, sit still until the baby is asleep."


#3

I would too. If the parents aren’t back there watching their children and you are trying to take care of yours, then I would say something to the kids to let them know that this is not how we behave in church.


#4

Thanks for the advice, my husband told me to do that too…I’m just not assertive enough I guess…:blush:

DoT


#5

How I have handled/would handle a situation like this, if the child’s parent doesn’t control their child, is that I wait until the out-of-control kid comes by my child and tries to engage them, then I take that opportunity to say very seriously, “sweetie, this room is for mommies to take care of their babies quietly. Let’s let my baby rest, shhhhhhhh”. Then if the older kids takes the hint I might later tell them, “Thank you for being so nice and quiet.” I tend to try to get them on my side and be a “helper”, rather than a confrontational approach. This usually works for me.


#6

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:1, topic:200702"]
So here goes...

Every Sunday I go to church (an Anglo-catholic one). I have a 6 yr. old that behaves very well besides the wiggling once in a while. My 9 mo. old is very well behaved too but when she gets cranky (starts to make little cranky noises) I immediately take her to the cry room to rock her to sleep so we can return to the service.

My problem is there is an 9 year old child that is in there "playing" and such. She is not disabled in anyway but tells her mother that she's "sick" and needs to go to the cry room to sit. (I don't understand how you feel less sick in the cry room than in the pew sitting) anyway it used to just be after the communion just before church was over now it's through the whole service and she comes out for her blessing (Anglicans don't give communion to most kids until they are 14) then she returns to the cry room and her playing. After church she runs and plays with my daughter and the other kids no problem.

She's not a "bad" child just not interested in church obviously. Her younger sister age 7 sits quietly with their mother and their son age 6 is the boat boy who sits quietly up at the altar. I think the mom just doesn't want to deal with the problem and feels that if she forces her to sit there that she'll "hate church".

It's annoying for me to see children out of control (really she is-just not the screaming and running point) and see them in the cry room playing while I'm trying in vain to get my whiny baby to sleep while there is another child playing in there. (she's not loud by any means just distracting to the baby) I don't know what to say to the mom, we've had a recent argument about abortion and haven't spoken for like 3 weeks until last week so I'm not sure how to go about this. (I'm pro-life and she took the side of a pro-abort) The dad of the little girl is an altar server too like my husband and he came from an Evangelical home where he was forced to pray and such...

I know that talking to the priest would be useless because I've complained to him before about another guy who brings his 4 and 5 year olds to the cry room and leaves them while he sits in the pew. (they are loud and obnoxious and waaaaaaay out of control). The priest told me it's sensitive and that he doesn't want to "scare anyone off". It's a dying parish with my kids, and two other families with kids (the ones I mentioned). Lots of old people.

Anyway any recommendations would be appreciated,
DoT

[/quote]

Just to address the child who comes back when she's "sick": Who wants sick people using the cry room as a place to go and be sick??! that makes no sense, from the germs standpoint. Now, I know you believe that the girl is just using being sick as an excuse, but taking her at her word and speaking to her mother, saying something like, "I would appreciate it if you didn't send your child back to the cry room when she's sick, to contain germs."

People have used the cry room at our parish on occasion as a place to go to "isolate" themselves from the congregation. It makes no sense IMO. Why would you take your germs to the very place that small children and babies use? It's not a sick room. Quite the opposite, as a matter of fact.


#7

Good point. I might try that method. I was thinking something along the lines of "do you think it's a good idea that "so and so" is in the cry room when they are sick? I don't really want "my child's name" around sick kids." If I get the "well she's not really sick", then I can say something like "why is she in there?" Maybe the issue can be dealt with then... :shrug:

DoT


#8

I just want to clarify what it is you are really objecting to. Is it that children are playing unattended in the cry room or that it is not quiet or is it something else?

I always thought the cry room was where noisy kids and crying babies are taken to keep them from disrupting the rest of the congregation. Would you be bothered if someone brought a crying 4 year old in and it kept your baby awake? It would annoy me too to see unattended kids in there but I never had an expectation that it would be a place where I could quiet my baby and get him to sleep.

I think the solution depends on what the real objection is. It could be taking some kind of action or simply adjusting expectations based on what purpose your church has for the room.


#9

[quote="momor, post:8, topic:200702"]
I just want to clarify what it is you are really objecting to. Is it that children are playing unattended in the cry room or that it is not quiet or is it something else?

I always thought the cry room was where noisy kids and crying babies are taken to keep them from disrupting the rest of the congregation. Would you be bothered if someone brought a crying 4 year old in and it kept your baby awake? It would annoy me too to see unattended kids in there but I never had an expectation that it would be a place where I could quiet my baby and get him to sleep.

I think the solution depends on what the real objection is.

[/quote]

The cry room is for noisy kids to get under control so they can be returned to mass. (Like rocking my baby to sleep so I can return to the service) This guy (4 and 5 year old dad) putting his kids in there to get them under control is one thing LEAVING them in there unattended so they can just run wild and free is NOT acceptable. The 9 year old shouldn't be in there at any point she's not loud in the service and she's not sick she's a kid that doesn't want to be in service but play in the room while me (and others) try to get our kids quieted down so they can return to service. ;)

I guess you and I have a different view of what a cry room is for. I see it as a transitional place to quiet down noisy kids to get them back to church. I've talked to others who believe that as well.


#10

BTW we had another couple that came with a new baby the mom brought her in there to nurse and rock her to sleep too she didn’t really go for the “leave them in there because they are out of control thing” either. It’s not a place for naughty undisciplined children to have free reign like a playroom or something. it’s a place where the parents take the kids to get them under control to return to church.

We have different views I think; these kids should be dealt with and put under control not be allowed to have “play time” because they are bored etc. (That may fly at an Evangelical church with their kids are in “sunday school” during the service because the parents don’t want to train them to participate in church but this is not that kind of church). :mad:


#11

I don’t disagree with you it’s just that if fussy crying kids are coming in, it’s not conducive to putting a child to sleep. Getting my child to stop crying was the best I could hope for and seeing other kids playing was usually helpful. I think the cry room at my old church was probably a lot busier than yours. There was rarely fewer than 10 kids plus parents in there at one time.

I edited my comment while you were replying and I don’t think you saw my comment about the solution depending on the purpose your church has for the cry room. Every parish has their own ‘culture’ on how these rooms are used and it will help to know what that is if you hope to get cooperation to change anything.


#12

I wouldn't hesitate to gently correct the unaccompanied minors! Just treat them as you would your own kids, lovingly. After all, it's not their fault that they are not being properly supervised. If you are kind to them, I don't think their dad can get mad, exactly.

As for the girl with her mom, I know it's frustrating, but you should try to be less judgmental. Do you know without a doubt, 100% that the child has no issues at all -- emotional, mentally, etc? For all we know, she might have an attention deficit, or something along those lines. Maybe when she says she feels "sick", that means she is having anxiety issues?(My 10 yr old daughter's best friend has a diagnosed anxiety disorder -- and if you met her you would think she's just a little, well, spazzy.) After all, you said the parents have been successful with their other 2 -- if all the kids are being raised by the same parents, it's curious that just the one has a problem in church. I think to address it with her mother would be asking for trouble, as the mom undoubtedly would feel you are judging her parenting -- because you are.


#13

Well this is something just recently with the 9 year old like the past 3 or so months before that for like 2 years no problem. I doubt it’s “anxiety or ADD/ADHD”. We’ve had these people over at our house several times and she can sit and visit or whatever no problem. She’s also been around some questionable peers that she goes to school with and that unfortunately has rubbed off on her. I believe because I know these people and their parenting style that it’s a discipline issue and she’s walking all over mom and dad. Now I’m having to deal with it…in the cry room no less. Fact is she shouldn’t be in there period. She’s not “sick” she’s bored she shoots my daughter a “ha!” smile every time she walks by on her way to the cry room at the beginning of service. I’ve had to explain to my daughter that just because her parents let her get away with it, doesn’t make it right.

DoT


#14

We had a problem with teenagers and older people sitting in the cry room, then when parents who needed to be in there tried to find a seat, it was full. Father posted signs saying that it was a room to be used for families with small children only! That took care of that problem. Maybe talk to your pastor. He might be willing to do something like that.


#15

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:13, topic:200702"]
Well this is something just recently with the 9 year old like the past 3 or so months before that for like 2 years no problem. I doubt it's "anxiety or ADD/ADHD". We've had these people over at our house several times and she can sit and visit or whatever no problem. She's also been around some questionable peers that she goes to school with and that unfortunately has rubbed off on her. I believe because I know these people and their parenting style that it's a discipline issue and she's walking all over mom and dad. Now I'm having to deal with it...in the cry room no less. Fact is she shouldn't be in there period. She's not "sick" she's bored she shoots my daughter a "ha!" smile every time she walks by on her way to the cry room at the beginning of service. I've had to explain to my daughter that just because her parents let her get away with it, doesn't make it right.

DoT

[/quote]

I would not hesitate to correct a 9 year old and frankly discipline her with words, even if she wasn't my child. I had to do that to a teen at my parish a few months ago who was texting the whole mass (I corrected him right before the consecration). If she were 5, that's one thing, but 9, correct her. If she's embarrassed or tells her parents, good! Sometimes it takes a non-relative to get a child to be respectful. And if from the point of correcting her she still goes in their unsupervised, correct her again. After the third time bring it up to the pastor. 9 isn't too delicate of an age to avoid correcting behavior when necessary. Heck, I've had people correct my 5 y.o. dd and I never was mad at them when I knew my dd needed it (after I had told her and tried to correct her, after all that I took away from her after that incident, she hasn't disobeyed again - which she rarely did anyway).


#16

Dear Defenderoftruth,

Thank you for coming here and for sharing your frustrations. I will certainly keep you in my prayers.

I will offer you this (as this is what I try to do) but it won’t be easy and will be quite challenging. I could certainly agree with you that this child is out of control but what good does that do, really? I could agree with you that this is frustrating and that these other parents are in the wrong but what does that prove, really?

Try and keep a spiritual focus here as best as you can and focus on the big picture. When these children irritate you think of Christ on the cross and offer up your irritation as prayer. When these children are loud and unruly and their parents are irresponsible and disrespectful…think of Christ, think of Christ who loved, loved and loved some more when people were loud and disrespectful to him. Yes, this is of course a great challenge!

You have an opportunity here that you can take advantage of. When frustration grows in your heart…offer it up in prayer. Here is what I have said to myself at church many times “Dear Jesus, this person right now is irritating me by their behavior. Please accept my frustration that I offer up now in prayer for myself and for them. I unite this frustration to the frustration you felt on Calvary. Jesus please help me to love all my brothers and sisters as you do.”

Look this is very hard to do! I am the first to admit I struggle with this beleive me! The wonderful thing is that you can lower your blood pressure and also grow spiritually!

Not only does this give me a sense of peace but it is a powerful intercessory prayer for others.

After offering this up in prayer several times, ask the Holy Spirit to help you with words if that is what is needed. The words of the Holy Spirit spoken in love will motivate change in these families far more then the words of a frustrated mom. I hope this helps a little.


#17

Hi, I re-read you posts – I missed the part that her mom stays in the pew – I thought her mom was there in the cry room, so I’ll amend my opinion!

I think you shouldn’t hesitate to correct her, again, lovingly like you would your own child. Engage her, ask her to help you get the baby to sleep by being quiet and still. Do you have any books she might be interested in? (We have some Golden Books about the life of Jesus that we sometimes bring to church for my 7 year old) I know it’s not right that you have to deal with this, but on the other hand, if her parents are struggling with her, you could be a powerful example and influence on her.

I can say from experience that 9 is a hard age, my DD is 10 and she’s definitely changing, she’s become more sullen and pouty and less cooperative with us. It’s a real struggle! I would love the assistance of another mom, someone who may have more patience with my daughter, who would encourage her to be good! :slight_smile: But I wouldn’t enjoy someone telling me what I’m doing wrong. I KNOW what I’m doing wrong, and I pray every day for strength to be the mom I SHOULD be, and I pray to the Blessed Mother for patience, patience, patience, but I don’t always succeed. Another parent pointing this out to me would be SOOOOO hurtful.

So I stand by my point that I think you should really try to avoid being “judgy” with the mom – you do seem to feel you have some insight into the family dynamics, but really – she is their child and it’s quite a presumption that you would know better than them how to parent her.

I also get a little whiff that maybe you just don’t enjoy this particular child? There are children in my life who I do not enjoy, that’s for sure.

I hope I am not coming off as too critical of you, I’m just trying to say that if I were her mother, this is how I would feel.


#18

Thank you for the advice everyone. As for me not “enjoying this particular child”. I admit not always. She’s at times called my daughter names and been down right mean (I don’t “blame” her but she’s definately getting the bad rub offs from some of the unruly kids she goes to school with-I’ve been informed by her parents). This skipping out on church thing is just another chapter in the book…It seems to me she’s just getting more out of control and it IMO would be a good idea if it was nipped in the bud now before it gets worse and I don’t want to have to keep my daughter away from her. (as of now she still talks and plays with my daughter with me keeping a close eye for bad rub offs) The mom and dad no offense are the kind that believe that any kind of punishment is limiting their self expression. :rolleyes: I’m old school…so it bugs me, :mad: I will try to pray for patience and understanding.


#19

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:9, topic:200702"]
The cry room is for noisy kids to get under control so they can be returned to mass. (Like rocking my baby to sleep so I can return to the service) This guy (4 and 5 year old dad) putting his kids in there to get them under control is one thing LEAVING them in there unattended so they can just run wild and free is NOT acceptable. The 9 year old shouldn't be in there at any point she's not loud in the service and she's not sick she's a kid that doesn't want to be in service but play in the room while me (and others) try to get our kids quieted down so they can return to service. ;)

I guess you and I have a different view of what a cry room is for. I see it as a transitional place to quiet down noisy kids to get them back to church. I've talked to others who believe that as well.

[/quote]

I agree with you. In my last parish there was a 4-child family who always sat in the first row. The son learned quickly that misbehaving got him a pass to the 'crying room' where he could play. It got to the point where he'd walk out by himself saying "I have to leave until I can behave better." Yeah, right! Usually at that point he'd been behaving just fine, he just wanted to go play.

That was the same family that came equipped with 2 or 3 juice boxes per child and then made 10 trips to the bathroom during the 45 minutes of Mass. I can see a bottle for the baby but really, snacks and juice for the 5 & 6 year olds? Oh, I forgot, there have been so many reports of starvation & dehydration incidents at Mass...


#20

[quote="defenderoftruth, post:1, topic:200702"]
So here goes...

Every Sunday I go to church (an Anglo-catholic one). I have a 6 yr. old that behaves very well besides the wiggling once in a while. My 9 mo. old is very well behaved too but when she gets cranky (starts to make little cranky noises) I immediately take her to the cry room to rock her to sleep so we can return to the service.

My problem is there is an 9 year old child that is in there "playing" and such. She is not disabled in anyway but tells her mother that she's "sick" and needs to go to the cry room to sit. (I don't understand how you feel less sick in the cry room than in the pew sitting) anyway it used to just be after the communion just before church was over now it's through the whole service and she comes out for her blessing (Anglicans don't give communion to most kids until they are 14) then she returns to the cry room and her playing. After church she runs and plays with my daughter and the other kids no problem.

She's not a "bad" child just not interested in church obviously. Her younger sister age 7 sits quietly with their mother and their son age 6 is the boat boy who sits quietly up at the altar. I think the mom just doesn't want to deal with the problem and feels that if she forces her to sit there that she'll "hate church".

It's annoying for me to see children out of control (really she is-just not the screaming and running point) and see them in the cry room playing while I'm trying in vain to get my whiny baby to sleep while there is another child playing in there. (she's not loud by any means just distracting to the baby) I don't know what to say to the mom, we've had a recent argument about abortion and haven't spoken for like 3 weeks until last week so I'm not sure how to go about this. (I'm pro-life and she took the side of a pro-abort) The dad of the little girl is an altar server too like my husband and he came from an Evangelical home where he was forced to pray and such...

I know that talking to the priest would be useless because I've complained to him before about another guy who brings his 4 and 5 year olds to the cry room and leaves them while he sits in the pew. (they are loud and obnoxious and waaaaaaay out of control). The priest told me it's sensitive and that he doesn't want to "scare anyone off". It's a dying parish with my kids, and two other families with kids (the ones I mentioned). Lots of old people.

Anyway any recommendations would be appreciated,
DoT

[/quote]

Just out of curiosity, how do you know she's not disabled in any way? Could it be possible that she has ADHD ?

**Edited to say "nevermind". :) If I had read the thread complete before posting I would have seen that you already addressed this. Carry on. :)


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