Sunday, September 20, 2009

Taking a toddler to church

Of late going to mass has become a bit of a challenge.  Elisabeth is not interested in sitting still and now that we are back in the main church (we move to a smaller chapel during the summer) Charlie and the music group he sings with are out front by the altar, where she can see him but can't be with him.  All of which means I've spent the last several masses pacing and chasing in the back of the church.
I had been thinking that maybe for awhile we would need to go to separate masses so as not to have to bring her.  But I got a great reminder this evening of the good that comes when you least expect it when my little girl completely unprompted by me during the Sign of Peace extended her hand to the couple next to us and say "Peace" or some eighteen month equivalent.
She has no understanding of 'inside voice' and is barely able to sit still for more than five minutes, but she knows to wish her friends in Christ Peace before we all come to the table of the Lord.

It is a start!


  1. She'll get there. I'd suggest bringing a little bag of small quiet toys to keep her occupied. My youngest will usually sit quietly with a children's Mass book and a green telescope that she got in a Chick-Fi-A kids meal. The sign of peace is my four year old's favorite part of Mass. She also likes making the sign of the cross (over and over). As long as she's quiet, I'm happy.

  2. Don't give up. It is so worth it to see them fall in love with going to Mass. You might be interested in a bog post I wrote recently of tips to help toddlers behave at Mass.

  3. Yes, taking little ones to Mass can be a very interesting challenge, but it's amazing how much they pick up on. I once took one of the boys I used to nanny for to Mass with us when I was taking care of him during a weekend. I pointed out the bell choir and talked to him ahead of time about what he would see and hear. He got antsy, but it was neat to see how the people around us were kind and understanding about the whole thing.
    I recently read a great, very funny book that involves kids and church. It's called: "Bless Me, Father, For I Have Kids" by Susie Lloyd.