Monday, August 30, 2010

what would you do?

Yesterday for Sunday School, we tried Moose out in his age-appropriate room (he had been in with the 2-year-olds still). It seemed to go well; his teacher said he was good and listened to her when they needed to sit down and color or listen to the lesson. When I got there, he was playing with "Thomas" (actually Gordon but whatever, they're both blue). Happy as can be...then another boy took the train - screaming. I go over and the other teacher gives Moose back the train...happy. I tell him we're going to go sit in church - screaming. I told him he could stay and play then. I leave - screaming. I go back and we repeat (go to church - scream, me leave - scream). Once more and then Big A went in and just got him. Huge meltdown. They walk around outside for 10 minutes while Squirt and I go in to worship. Our big duo comes back in and Squirt gets squirmy (not unusual). Big A takes him out and Moose sits beside me. Then he decides he wants his cars...I forgot them at home - screaming. I take him to the bathroom and spank him (and he cries super loud the whole way out and in the bathroom). I sit on the floor and just say, "buddy I don't know what to do with you. You can't scream like that." I am just lost at what to do. I've tried being super duper patient. I've tried spanking. I've tried yelling. I've tried distraction. None of it works. He seemed better so we went to go back into church; he yelled for his milk. So I went in to get our stuff and we all sat out in the foyer. Seeing as we weren't going to get anything out of the service, we just left. In the middle.

What would you do? Do you leave your kids in the nursery/Sunday School during church? We would like to have our kids in there with us so we don't have to teach them at a later time to sit still during church. But lately we've definitely contemplated keeping them in there the whole time - Squirt never sits through a service.

The temper tantrums are getting worse around here. I know it's Terrible Threes and all, but holy cow. From none to one-every-few-minutes is ridiculous - how does he know he turned 3? How do you keep your kids from throwing giant fits? What do you do when they do throw fits in public/at playdates/at church? It's just wearing me out and I get so embarrassed to boot (and I know other moms will say 'don't be embarrassed we've all been there' but it doesn't seem like anyone else's kids act like this).

Frustrated S Club Mama


Anonymous said...

Hi Randi! Well,I can't offer any advice because our church doesn't have nursery or classes and never has. We have always (from birth) taken our children to worship with us. We have worship service on Sunday morning and then on Sunday nights we have Bible study/singing with everyone in the same room. Men and boys on one side and women/girls on the other. We do the kids' group studies first and then proceed to the adult study while the kids either sit and watch a video, color, play with toys in one corner of the room or the kitchen that is just off the main room with the door open and adults taking turns supervising. Sometimes an adult or older teenager or two offers to take the smaller children outside to play. It's a great system and we just make it work!! If I were you, which I'm not, so this is just that, advice, I would take them to worship service so they could begin to learn now. We always bring coloring books, dolls, blocks, trains,stickers, blank paper, etc. (just a HUGE bag of different toys/crafts/tricks)and if we do have a problem, usually I just sit with them in the restroom or take them outside for awhile. It's really hard to get through those early years,I think but all the training you are doing is going to pay off and they will "get something" out of worship service. My kids are 5, 3 and 2 and play "church" almost every day! My son carries around a hymnal and says, "Amen, brother"..LOL Anyway, wrapping up my novel of a comment but just wanted to let you know what we do and maybe encourage you? :)

~Hope it gets better for you!!

In Light of the Truth... said...

Oh honey, I'm sorry... I wish I had a good answer for you about what to do about fits. Fortunately I haven't had much of that in public. At the air show on Saturday though because Eli didn't want Grandma sunscreen on him. But yes, you get embarrassed and frustrated--how can you not? You could try practicing church at home. For just a few minutes. Then before church tell him clearly what your expectations are ("rules"). Let him have his own small "church bag" of cars and paper and books or snack or drink or whatever can keep him occupied quietly. Ad then be consistent about it. Don't let it be his choice, if you want him in there. If he screams he'll figure out he can go to the nursery. Just take him to the bathroom for discipline and try again. Maybe try a reward for going into church without crying. Let him make choices--like which seat he wants to sit in (this one or this one?), what things he wants in his bag, pack his own snack maybe? I don't usually bother with the younger ones, cuz they're too young to understand, and quite simply it's not worth the trouble yet. I haven't even started Hannah in church with us yet, just because most of the time I'm by myself and having Carter and Eli is enough for me. But I might switch out Carter to the nursery and starting training Hannah. When we go to parents church she usually does just fine. She has her "church" bag and everything too. Good luck!

Cori said...

I'm sorry to hear it didn't go well. I have no advice; I'm sorry. It will eventually be my turn though and I will be asking you for some help! :)

Keep at it and eventually he'll understand.

Theresa said...

Oh Randi, that is rough ((((hugs))). Hang in there. I personally have never put my kids in nursery. They stay with us in the sancuary. We don't give them toys, we expect them to sit and pay attention the best they can. They are to sing when we sing (they can hum if they don't know the words), pray when we pray, and listen to the pastor when he preaches.
My advice would be if you take him out for discipline, be sure to bring him back in to the sanctuary. Even if you have to do it ten times. By you staying out he is learning he can get out of it. There is a book called "Parenting In The Pew" that I heard was good although I never read it.
Maybe practicing at home by listening to a sermon on tape while sitting still (5 minutes at a time) would help.
I know this is long...sorry I got carried away :)

Julie said...

Hey Randi,
I am by no means an expert. I struggle too with my own kids...don't we all...and yes I am sure every mom/dad has had their kid throw a fit in public. With our kids we have no nursery at church so I have had to mat train them at home and then expect them to understand the concept when going to church. It requires consistency...actually discipline in general requires consistency. At home most times I just have to threaten to go to the kitchen (that is wear the spanking stick is) and the behavior 9 times out of 10 stops because they know if we have made it to the kitchen they will be getting a hard church or in public I threaten the bathroom because they know what happens when we go there. I know not everyone is a believer in spankings, but my kids hate them because they hurt their behinds, but in general it works for mine. Also remain calm with them while you are giving them a spanking. It makes it even worse if they see you all frazzled. I would just work on the consistency part at home this week if I were you...T throws a fit...immediately take him to where he gets a spanking...ok. my two cents..again I am not an expert...just telling you what I do and would do it your case..

Synergy Girl said...

Oh...that's a hard one with no right answers...frankly, what I would do would depend on my mood on any particular given day. Usually when our kids FREAK OUT, we take them out, and make them sit on our lap and hold their arms until they realize that screaming will only make it take longer...when that doesn't work, we take them out to the car, shut the door, and let them scream it out...if that doesn't work, we have been known to tell them that they aren't allowed to act like that, and that we are going to take them to the police and we LITERLLY drive to the police station....if I just don't have the energy to deal with it...I go home and put them down for a nap, and take one myself....

good luck with whatever you decide works for you...!!

Jen said...

As a youth minister in a church... I say leave them in church. I sometimes make mine sit in the pew in front of my if they are not behaving... they HATE it and quickly straighten up.

Most of the time it is more distracting to us as opposed to the people around us... but maybe you could practice taking them to church once a month and the nursery the other times.

Muthering Heights said...

That's a tough one! We have the same problem with our one year old. I don't know if the same tactic would apply due to the age difference, but my husband has started staying in the room with our son, and when he becomes comfortable and starts playing, he leaves to join me in the service.

Both of our daughters used to cry when we left them, but we just explained repeatedly that this was their special class time, and that we would see them after church was over. It took a while, but now they have a wonderful time...and we actually get to hear the sermon!

I hope you find something that works for you soon!! :)

Nicole said...

I teach in our church's nursery class and I think it is best when parents just leave and don't let themselves be seen if they decide to check back in to see how their kid is doing. They may scream for a minute or two, but after a couple weeks they get the routine down and it gets easier at good-byes. That's just my opinion.

If they do sit with you at some point during church service, just bring a bag of quiet activities for them to do. Use the stuff ONLY on Sundays so they don't get bored of it. My sons like "I Spy" type books, crayons or color wonders, lacing toys!!, stickers and paper, even workbooks for the older one. Good luck!!

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