Recently we talked about the importance of having our kids in church with us. It was great hearing from so many of you, here, on Facebook, twitter and even in real life.
So How do you Survive Mass with Kids?
As usual my readers were ready with great suggestions.
Catholic Mommy – said we“my parents brought religious books for us to read, sat in front where we could see, and as a last resort walked around in the vestibule.”
Doreen – said she when her kids were little she “was always prepared with cheerios and a quiet toy”
I would like to add a few of my own tried and true suggestions.
- Read the mass readings ahead of time. This way if you are distracted you will know at least have some idea of what the homily will be about.
- Msgr Daniel Muggenburg has been giving in depth teachings of the Gospel for years. He now has podcasts available for free. His insights are wonderful. These may seem a little old but the great thing is the Catholic church cycles through each of the 4 Gospels in 3 years. So every three years Cycle A, B and C come around.
- Sit up front so kids can see what is going on OR
- Sit in the back to be less distracting with a boisterous child and for quick escapes
- Bring religious books for kids to look at/read
- Feed them before you go if possible, hungry kids are more likely to act up
- Arrive a little early, so your child can explore. You might even ask the Deacon to give them a tour.
- Cheerios – did I mention cheerios? You can pass these out one at a time to occupy toddlers
- A sling or light weight blanket for nursing a little one. If you sit strategically this is possible in the pew. Once had to nurse a 3 month old in Notre Dame in Paris
- Sit child parent child parent- this works for older kids too. Then they can’t torment each other. Not that my kids ever bug each other in church never.
- Catholic Mom has great resources for children in mass, including :
- coloring pages these relate to the Sunday readings – perfect for younger kids
- Mass worksheets with questions relating to the mass and the readings, – 7-10, 11-14
- Lesson Plan – great for teaching Sunday School
- Word search – Puzzle, Solution these work well in the classroom too
- Crossword puzzle – Puzzle, Solution
- Bring your patience and remember that they are children, can be loud and quite active fidgety