Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I Wonder

One day I wondered about kids' behavior in church.  There was a good article in the Lutheran Witness awhile ago authored by a mom who gave very good ideas on how to teach children how to behave and learn in church.  Many of those things I had done with my own children.  But the other day I wondered if working moms is part of the problem.

If a child's mom is not home during the day but instead attends a day care, they are not around each other as much as a mom and child who are home all day every day with each other.  I wonder if this plays a part in how the mom and child react to each other during a church service.

Does the working mom not know as well the limit her child has before melt down?
Does the daycare child not know as well the looks of mom which signal, "this must stop now?"
Does the working mom get flustered more easily or is that more a difference in a person's make-up?
Does the daycare child not know as well how to simply sit and be beside Mom?

I know that there are differences in parents, in what they expect, think, and can tolerate.  I also know there are differences in children, in what they can tolerate and think.  And I understand those play a part in church behavior as well.  But what I wonder is if a mother who spends her days working while her child spends his day in day care are at a disadvantage, because they haven't gotten to know those limits in each other.


Anonymous said...

I think that parental expectations for church behavior has little to do with the parents' work experience. It's somewhat of a disservice to think that a working parent might not be able to identify the pre-melt down aura, or that the child of a mom who works away from the home would not be able to give "the look" and have it take hold.

Rather, I think that the parent who cannot structure the church-going experience so that their children have age-appropriate understanding of expected behavior has issues that are not related to their working status. Teaching the respect that church attendance warrants, in our family, has more to do with the parent's view of expected church behavior. The fact that I worked away from the home some days did not alter my expectations for our children's behavior in any setting.

So, four kids later, and 29 years of sitting alone in the pew as my husband stands up front, I still have occasion to look down the pew, smile and *sigh*.

Martha said...

Interesting observations.

I would be interested in reading the LW article. Which issue is it in.


Glenda said...

Sorry Anonymous and Martha for not responding sooner, life at home is quite busy this week.

Anyway, you have a good point Anonymous, and like I said, I'm simply wondering about it. I've only known being home with my kids, and most of my closest friends are also at home. I understand completely that any parent should be able to structure the church-expectations whether or not they are at home. My wondering is if the "working world" can be a disservice to what reasonable expectations are. And maybe that has nothing to do with working, but instead with what a parent fills their head with. These are all sheer wonderings, not accusations, as I think and ponder such things.

Martha - I don't have time until next week to search for the issue, but I will and will let you know. And just so you know, the article is all about ideas on how to help teach your children good behavior during church.