Brats in Church

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WellWisher Posts : 175 Registered: 1/2/10
Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 12, 2010 12:58 PM

Sorry girls, but I have to say, my number-one pet peeve is a bratty child in church.

I understand that Jesus liked the kids. I LOVE seeing kids in church. What I hate is a bratty child and a parent who refuses to remove their child from the church until he/she calms down.

Church lasts an hour, maybe an hour and a half a week. For many people it's their only opportunity to go to services and hear a homily/ recieve communion/ whatever your church does.

Don't make others suffer because of poor parenting.

Anyone agree with me, or am I alone in this?

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MsDenuninani Posts : 3,962 Registered: 3/16/07
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 12, 2010 2:42 PM Go to message in response to: WellWisher

I don't go to church, but I would think that church would be the one place where parents wouldn't be given the stink-eye for not hiring a babysitter.

Generally, though, parents who don't bother to address their children's bratty behavior anywhere is a pain in the butt.

__________________________________________

"I'd hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, or insanity, but they've always worked for me." Hunter S. Thompson

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Bride2008 Posts : 3,058 Registered: 3/28/06
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 12, 2010 4:33 PM Go to message in response to: WellWisher

While it is never pleasant to see children misbehaving, when I am in church I try to remember that I am there because of my faith and that my faith teaches me to be patient and tolerant, like Jesus was. Letting myself get annoyed by "brats" really doesn't fall in line with that.

 

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WellWisher Posts : 175 Registered: 1/2/10
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 12, 2010 5:43 PM Go to message in response to: WellWisher

Wow, I guess there isn't much sympathy out there.

I go to a large church with a lot of families. There are wonderful children that I enjoy seeing every week, and then there a few that kick the pews, scream in their seats, and quite frankly distract everyone around them. I'm not a child hater at all. I just don't understand why parents allow their children to act that way in any public area, especially a place of worship that encourages silence for meditation.

This week there was a traveling homilist who came to my faith community, and I literally couldn't hear him because of the disruptive children in front of me. I'm not talking about a small baby crying, I'm talking a full-out tantrum. I missed the whole message, and it sounded like a really good one so I'm especially dissapointed.

I try not to let loud children in church distract me. I just thought since so many women complained about their mother in laws and bridesmaids, I could share my feelings too. Excuse me for trying.

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Cortie24 Posts : 27 Registered: 1/7/08
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 12, 2010 5:45 PM Go to message in response to: Bride2008

My parents always said to me that when you don't see kids in church, it's bad news, meaning that if there aren't new generations of believers, the church could die off so I try to think about that!
I personally tend to enjoy churches that provide Sunday School for kids during the service more because then I'm not distracted by a screaming child, but I realize that that isn't always possible.

"When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." - Billy Crystal, When Harry met Sally

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myras Posts : 396 Registered: 2/26/10
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 12, 2010 6:06 PM Go to message in response to: WellWisher

What I hate is a bratty child and a parent who refuses to remove their child

I can't stand parents who do not teach and discipline their children, whether in church,a restaurant, the supermarket, a department store, or a movie theater. Since I am a mother of two and raised my children to behave in public, I feel that I have a "right' to my distaste for brats and their namby-pamby parents. Nobody ever said that parenting is easy, nor is it always convenient. But, if you don't handle the situation when it happens, then it surely will happen again--and again. In fact, I go out of my way to praise total strangers when I see examples of good parenting.
myra@classysassyweddings.com

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Teachers Posts : 12 Registered: 5/18/09
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 12, 2010 7:53 PM Go to message in response to: WellWisher

Don't get me wrong I think the parents should try and help there children with behavior. But in my experience with children, if the reason the child is misbehaving is because they don't want to go to church, removing them from the services just validates what the child wanted. And the next time he or she doesn't want to go to church he or she will just have the same behaviors or worse until he or she get his way. Maybe the parents are trying to teach their child a lesson by saying the avoidance behavior isn't going to work.

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WellWisher Posts : 175 Registered: 1/2/10
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 13, 2010 3:19 PM Go to message in response to: WellWisher

"if the
reason the child is misbehaving is because they don't want to go to
church, removing them from the services just validates what the child
wanted."

But by not removing the children from church, you in a way punish the rest of the congregation. When you remove the child from church it's not like you take them out for ice cream. When a child knows they are being removed from an area because of their own behavior, they should know that some kind of punishment is coming their way: Either they get to sit in the car without saying a word until the rest of the service is over, or they don't get something nice that they were expecting, or any punishment the parent thinks is necessary (obviously there are as many parenting styles as there are parents out there). I don't think that trying to strike the fear of God in the child is a good idea (excuse the pun regarding the subject) but the child should know what the parent says, goes. "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'" (Matt 5:37)

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MrsS2010 Posts : 336 Registered: 5/25/09
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 13, 2010 3:43 PM Go to message in response to: WellWisher

That is why there is "sunday school" and I think its great when churches have them held during regular service - Im with you I hate when Im sitting there and theres a temper tantrum goin somewhere behind me. It gets distracting and out of respect, the parent should tend to their in that time. i am not a parent nor do I think parenting is a walk in the park by no means. Ive dealt with bratty kids before and I know you could go insane yourself before your child calms down lol. I see no reason not to take them at least out into the lobby and get them to calmmmm dooown before coming back in. Its respectful. But best option is sunday school during that time! its like church only directed to children and their young minds :)

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 13, 2010 7:05 PM Go to message in response to: MrsS2010

when I was a child, I was expected to behave with a certain level of decorum in public. Failure to live up to that standard was met with a response there AND at home. Sometimes it was something small, like being forbidden from watching my favorite afterschool cartoons for a week or two (and trust me...missing Speed Racer for two weeks WAS a serious punishment, the likes of which only needed to be meted once!) or bigger, like a time out for a particular time every day (I once had to sit in the corner for an hour every day for a week. BORING!) ANd if my parents dished out a punishment, it was followed through, they never merely stated a punishment and didn't carry through with it.

Before a punishment was dished out, I was always warned "stop it or else" and given a chance to cease with just a discussion of why what I had done was wrong.


I never misbehaved at Church. Ever. (Well, except for the time I gave the sunday school bully a black eye, but he took my hat and I did give him the chance to return it before giving him his punishment)

I didn't want children at my wedding because parents do not PARENT any more. Children are just that....children. But if they have not been trained with proper and respectful behaviour, and their parents do not bother to correct them when they act out, they why should I have to put up with the little blighters?!

Misty

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FutureMrsDJLeo Posts : 615 Registered: 2/26/09
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 14, 2010 1:37 AM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

Cat, I HATED having to stand in the corner!!! That was when I knew I really messed up, LOL!

On topic, I think it's great when children come to church, mainly for the reasons mentioned by previous posters. I do feel that if someones child is being too loud for whatever reason, rather they just keep talking, or they start throwing a tantrum, they should be taken out into the gathering space. I think it's the same thing if 2 adults are sitting in church talking, and you can't hear the preacher over them, then the right thing for them to do is step outside. It's not necessarily the crying baby that's bothering me, but it's the fact that I want to listen and I'm unable to do so. I feel the same way about it as someone talking on their cell phone during the movie. I came to watch the movie, not listen to you talk. At church I came to pray and listen to the gospels and homely (I can't spell that word!), not listen to children crying. I also have a petpeeve of people interrupting, or being loud over others. I know this sounds crazy, but even if I'm talking on the phone, or have friends/family over and my dogs start barking while were talking I say "Rocky/Bella, ____'s talking, that's rude!" and they stop!

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ArtBride Posts : 4,838 Registered: 5/9/07
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 14, 2010 8:53 AM Go to message in response to: WellWisher

While I generally get annoyed by parents who don't remove a misbehaving child from a public place, church is one place I am extremely tolerant. It's nice to see parents taking their young children to church, even if the child doesn't behave properly. In a lot of areas, church-goers are mostly elderly - at least, that's the way it was where I grew up. My family attended several different churches over the years, and there was a very low ratio of families to elderly people at all of them. When I moved to the area where I live now, I was really surprised to see TONS of young people, many with young children, attending church every week - and most of the children are very well-behaved. Even when they're not, however, it's a good thing that they're there. At least their parents are trying (and trying HARD, if they're not giving in to tantrums) to raise their kids according to their religious beliefs.

Look, what's the alternative? Forbiding families to enter churches? Having a bouncer escort them out if the child misbehaves? That would just discourage families from bringing their children to church - and then you'll have fewer church members supporting the church over the course of their lives. Not to mention that fewer children would be raised according to the values of your religion - which is pretty much the point of the whole thing, right?

Look at it as a sacrifice that you're making for these children. Sure, this is your one chance a week to go to a service. I agree that it WOULD be nice if it was quiet and peaceful. But the more often your quiet reflection is disturbed by these screaming children, the more likely it is that THEY will be the ones sitting in the pew complaining about screaming kids 30 years from now. If they're taken out or their parents are discouraged from coming with their children, the kids probably won't magically become church-goers as adults. Isn't the chance that one of these screaming kids will grow up a good Christian worth a little annoyance on your part?

For the record, I don't have kids yet. I hope that when I do, I'll be able to get them to behave properly. But even if I can't, there are some places that I'd have to take them because exposure to what's there is THAT important. Church is one of those places. (My parents, by the way, pretty much bribed us to behave in church. When we were very young, we got a quarter if we behaved. When we got a little older, we had to report on a specific part of the service - generally give a summary of the gospel - to get the quarter. When we were a little older than that, we got the quarter for participating in the service the same way as the adults do. It worked like a charm, and I never noticed when they stopped giving us quarters after church.)

DaisypathWedding Ticker

Vice President and Guardian of the Toilet Brush of POOP: People Offended by Offended People

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 14, 2010 10:44 AM Go to message in response to: WellWisher

Ladies,

I've gone to church all my life, and have had my full share of experiences with screaming children in church. It gets really bad at Christmas and Easter, when many families make their "annual trek" to church, with children who have no clue as to what behavior is appropriate.

Familes that bring their children every Sunday, all year, usually have well-behaved children. The children are familiar with church, they know what to expect and they are under peer-pressure, as well as parent-pressure, to act in age-appropriate behavior. No one wants to go to Sunday School and hear "Hey Tantrum Baby!" from the other kids.

How to address this issue?

1. Yes, removing children from church will just serve to reward the child for bad behavior. I did that, myself, several times with one of my twins. My approach was to make the time out of church unpleasant. I would take my child to an empty room, devoid of toys or other distractions, then make him sit facing the blank wall. He could not climb in my lap. He had to face the wall and calm down. Then, when he was ready to go back into church, we'd go.

2. Churches should have ushers who guide the parents of really unruly children to such a place where the child's needs can be met. The hungry child can be fed, or even breastfed in private. The sleepy child can be put down for a nap. The poorly-behaiving child (such as one of mine) can get a time-out. The over-stimulated child can be calmed down.

When parents are unfamiliar with the church (such as the above-mention C/E only folks or when attending a church service away from home), they don't know where they can go with their kid. That's the job of ushers to guide the parents to a safe and private place for the parents and kid.

3. If a child near you is making so much noise that you cannot hear, then you have several options. Turn around and tell the parents "I'm having a difficult time hearing. Could you ask Sonny to be quiet?". If that doesn't work, then just get up and move to a better seat. If you cannot get up, then raise your hand and say "I'm having a very difficult time hearing you. Is there any way the sound system can be increased in volume?".

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myras Posts : 396 Registered: 2/26/10
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 14, 2010 12:59 PM Go to message in response to: ArtBride

I disagree that taking a child out has to act as a reward for bad behavior. If the time out is unpleasant or boring, then that is not a reward. Of course, if the time out turns into a trip to the ice cream parlor, then that is rewarding bad behavior. It all depends on how the parent handles it. In any case, other people should not have to suffer because your child cannot behave. To repeat--nobody ever said that good parenting is easy,convenient, or fun. But, if you don't do it early, as a parent you will face much bigger problems with your teenagers than you ever have with an unruly toddler.
myra@classysassyweddings.com

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auntofthebride Posts : 9,354 Registered: 4/2/06
Re: Brats in Church
Posted: Apr 14, 2010 1:37 PM Go to message in response to: myras

Dear Myra,

" But, if you don't do it early, as a parent you will face much bigger problems with your teenagers than you ever have with an unruly toddler. "

Absolutely true. You have to get control of the child while you are still bigger than the kid. Once they hit the teenage years, you do not have the ability to physically control them.

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