How to politely ask people to stop being disruptive in Mass

I recently went to mass and I had a horribly hard time concentrating because the people/kids sitting next to me were playing on their nintendo switch most of mass when we were sitting down. They had headphones in but it was terribly distracting as they were passing the controllers between themselves.

I am not their parents, but should I have said something. I was incredibly irritated.


If it’s something really out of the ordinary I would personally just move.


I have to agree with this, when it’s parents with kids who are acting up. Speaking to the parents is likely to just get you an angry look or else the parents may try to explain that little Joey has (insert name of some condition here) and has to have his Nintendo or fidget toy or be allowed to climb the pews like a jungle gym during Mass because otherwise he’ll have a meltdown, etc.

If the kid isn’t physically in my personal space, like kicking me or climbing on/ crawling under the pew I’m sitting in, I try to just ignore it and offer it up, although it can be challenging.


I don’t personally agree with the kids having a Nintendo in church, but… I’d just sit elsewhere if it’s distracting.


People differ in what they find distracting. I am not easily distracted by conversation but I am by music. Others cannot bear the sound of others eating. Or pen clicking. I have a deep aversion to people clicking their fingers to illustrate a point. I want to hit them.

If these things become overwhelming to the extent that you cannot bear them in circumstances in which others have no problem it is always wise to seek some advice about psychological techniques you can use to manage the problem. That’s the long way around saying ‘its you, not the kids’. And you can fix it. But your chances of fixing them are pretty slim.


I once asked two teenagers sitting behind me to be quiet during an Easter vigil mass. After mass, I went to put my jacket on which I had an the back of the folding chair, only to find they had dripped wax from their candles all over it.

So yeah, just move to a different seat. If none are left, I would stand in the back of the church if I had to.


That is truly horrible. If any child can’t make it through Mass without an electronic device then something needs to be addressed. I would pray about it and if you need to mention it to Father please do. It would have greatly upset me. If they are old enough to play on a device they are old enough to pay attention and take part in Mass.


UNbelievable and sad.


Right on point!

I would have said something. I just can’t believe that so many people advocate suffering in silence instead of the perpetrator being corrected.


Many of us have learned, often through experience, that going around “correcting” people often is ineffective and in the worst case can backfire on you.

In some cases pastors have told the congregations to not “correct” others in church and if there is a problem, point the person out to the priest, who will decide what action if any he wants to take.


I think this is more prudent.

I remember reading a post here on CAF, where a poster describes a family having a picnic during a mass, complete with cookies, Funyuns, and orange soda. After eating all that they went to receive Communion. What about the fast an hour before Communion?

After mass they left a mess behind them. Cookie crumbs, empty soda bottles and Funyun bags all over the pew.



That’s the type of thing where I’d be telling the priest about this family who all eat a bunch of snacks.

With my luck they would all have some medical exemption from the one hour fast.


That is totally ??? How can people do that. They HAVE to know better and KNOW that isn’t allowed.


That’s what I also thought.

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My SIL has a medical reason to bring something to drink with her to Mass because of her diabetes. She had a horrible spell once at Mass where the Ambulance had to be called. After that she’d bring a small cooler with a drink, I believe in case she felt the need she could drink something before she had another bad episode.

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And somewhere on social media those parents are still calling you out for being ‘unwelcoming’ by not putting up with their children’s distracting, bad behavior. lol


I’m 62 years old and past the age of raising small children. When I see this kind of “parenting,” i get the feeling that many parents are afraid to step in and do something because they fear that someone will report them to police for child abuse. Nowadays, even raising your voice to a child can have consequences if someone reports “abuse.” So rather than taking a chance on having their kids removed and put in foster care, the parents just do nothing.

I do wonder if once they are home, if they try to talk to their children, but the problem is, most children benefit most from being trained/corrected at the time that they need the training and correction, not later when they have forgotten all about what they did and honestly have no idea what the parent is talking about.

I’m glad my husband and I raised out daughters in the 1980s!


My typical thought is,
“No driving them out with a whip then?”
Dominus vobiscum

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Maybe, but that’s on them.

For something really out of the ordinary like this I doubt it will go on forever because they’re going to encounter lots of people that are put off by it and even if nobody says anything they’ll eventually take a hint and start to feel uncomfortable. Soft power.

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