Toddlers attending church


#1

My twins are flower girls in a wedding this weekend. They are just over 2yo. Then they are going to church on Sunday since, well, I am going and we’ll all be together (Mom has not yet “seen the light,” but she’ll be there too unless she sits in the car).

2yo = short attention spans. Tendency to randomly start moaning and crying. Food = best way to keep kids quiet, normally. Question = Is it okay for us to bring a bag of chocolate cheerios and let them eat them in church?

I do intend to teach them church is a special place and I think actually it will be okay on Saturday because they will recognize that it’s something special. But out of respect for the bride and groom I don’t want to disrupt anything. Then there’s Sunday.

Help wanted. Thanks.


#2

I’m not touching this:

Question = Is it okay for us to bring a bag of chocolate cheerios and let them eat them in church?

I’m sure others will. I’d just like to note that my grandchildren are nearly 6, 4, nearly 3 and 11 months. They have had bottles/been nursed in church, but have never needed to eat in church - all four have been going to Mass regularly since they were just a few weeks old.

My twins are flower girls in a wedding this weekend. They are just over 2yo. …
I do intend to teach them church is a special place and I think actually it will be okay on Saturday because they will recognize that it’s something special. But out of respect for the bride and groom I don’t want to disrupt anything.

Since your twins are flower girls I assume this is a family wedding, and the additions of children, the disruptions of little people would be welcome.

At a recent family wedding one of my grandsons exclaimed nice and loudly, “I can see the princess” when he caught sight of his cousin in her wedding dress. Later though his younger brother had to be removed from the church as he was, even more loudly wanting “it, in bag” especially as we had no idea what ‘it’ was.

Then they are going to church on Sunday since, well, I am going and we’ll all be together (Mom has not yet “seen the light,” but she’ll be there too unless she sits in the car)…2yo = short attention spans. Tendency to randomly start moaning and crying. Food = best way to keep kids quiet, normally. Then there’s Sunday…Help wanted. Thanks.

Sit where they can see what is happening in the sanctuary on Sunday, but where you can get out relatively easily if necessary. Take some kind of quiet toy, a favourite doll or fluffy toy, if that will help. If either girl gets too noisy, take her out, until she calms down, then take her back.

My other suggestion is that you start to make church-going part of normal Sunday routine, so that when these events come up it is something perfectly normal for your daughters.


#3

:thumbsup:


#4

In answer to your question, the cheerios idea is ok.


#5

Cheerios or some other similar snack or a quiet toy is fine. Please make sure there is no mess when you leave. Take lots of pictures!


#6

Until the past thirty years, this question would have been unthinkable.


#7

I am going to jump into the deep end with this.

Please, please don’t bring food into church.

There are a number of reasons. Not least of which, how are you going to end that habit?

Second, unless you feed the child one cheerio at a time, baby bird style, they are a mess. One dropped and stepped on will spread far and wide.

And chocolate?? Maybe your 2 year old is a neat eater. But most 2 year old children have food that comes back out of their mouth. Which means chocolate down the front of them. If they are the flower girls, they will be dressed up. But after eating chocolate cheerios, they won’t be dressed up for long.

Breastfeeding and bottles? They are fine. But unless your child needs to be fed every hour, there are better ways to keep a child quiet in church.


#8

Probably even more recently. But, praise God for the likes of Pope Francis!


#9

I could give my opinion but will probably hear guff for it so heres an article about how to train children to behave appropriately at mass hope it helps
elizabethficocelli.com/avioiding_mass.html


#10

We brought all our children to the church since they were infants and also for daily mass.

We were attending daily mass those days (in a small chapel for this), we had a maid at home staying with us but we took along the baby nevertheless. Not easy when it came to wailing. One of us had to go out to sooth him.

You can bring you toddlers to the church because that will be a great impact in their lives later. They may not know or understand what they are doing, but the experience will remain in their pysche much later in their adult lives. Initiating offsprings into the church is part of parents’ responsibility to their chidlren.

We need to try to be considerate though to ensure that they will not cause much distraction to others. I have seen many times how toddlers would walk up to the sanctuary and the parents just let them be.

Since the mass is for worship rather than a baby pen, I would discourage eating for the children. Anyway if the purpose of bringing them to church is part of the learning process.

Flower girls - ah the little darlings, how cute they are. Have a great day.:slight_smile:


#11

Bring a coloring book or other quiet toy.

I once heard someone say, “If babies aren’t crying then the church is dying.”


#12

No, cheerios in church is not appropriate. I don’t know why people think it is.


#13

This is perfect! It is exactly what we have tried to do with our 5 children. In the early days, we would try to bring “quiet toys”. While the toys might have been quiet, the toddlers bickering over them were not, so we had to end that. As she says, some days are better than others. For me, the most beautiful sound in church is the sound of somebody else’s baby cry, because then it isn’t mine. :slight_smile:


#14

We sat in the first pew with our kids. They behave a little better if they can see
whats going on.


#15

Parents who let their children eat during Mass don’t realize that no one can clean up the crumbs and other messiness until the following Saturday morning (by volunteers).

Food can also be a distraction. I’ve seen toddlers “offer” their snacks to other parishioners who are trying to worship.

Please never giver snacks to your children in the church.

Incidentally, did you know that chocolate cheerios has 1/3 the fiber and 9X the sugar in regular cheerios? Frankly, toddlers shouldn’t even be eating chocolate.


#16

Foodwise- I have seen families do that only bring food that isn’t messy nor full alot of sugar such as regular cheerios, fruit such as seedless grapes, orange pieces etc. Finger food in essence. Chocolate and anything with alot of sugar will only make them hyper and they will get into trouble. If you decide to bring food make sure you bring a bottle of water with you to use to clean up any messes.

Quiet toys are always good: stuff animals (ones they have never seen before could be a great way to keep them occupied during this important special day,) crayons and colouring books are also good. You can also bring a mp3 player with headphones with children’s music to also keep them occupied. Before the wedding, you might also want to let them have a good play which should get some of the energy out of them before the wedding. (you will have to gauge this since the last thing you want is for the children to become whinny because they are tired.)

I would ask the priest and find out what he has seen parents do to keep their little ones quiet. Speaking with the catechist teacher couldn’t hurt either since both of them have experience working with young children during the mass. Once you speak with them, I would be curious to learn what they say.


#17

I guess the wedding is over by now but I wanted to answer your question anyway. There is no law saying that a parent cannot bring chocolate cheerios or other foods or objects to church to help keep their little ones quiet. You are the parent and you know better than anyone else what to expect from your children and what little tricks you have learned that will help in a given situation. Parents often learn most from trial and error and I’m sure that you will too. It doesn’t hurt to listen to the wisdom and guidance of other parents who have been in your situation and others with good advice but you need not worry if you do not live up to everyone else’s expectations. Just try to do the best that you can do.


closed #18

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