Sunday, August 12, 2007

Teaching Reverence

Today in church the lesson was on Reverence. The sisters shared some ideas of how they have taught or helped their children learn reverence, particularly at church. I thought I'd share them here and ask for any other tricks and ideas that others have tried or heard of.
  • One mother kept Tabasco sauce in her purse at church. The misbehaving child would promptly receive some on their tongue! She said that she rarely had to use it; it was more of a threat.
  • If reverence was not practiced at church, then it was practiced at home. The children sat on fold-up chairs with arms folded listening to church music until the parent felt the kids had enough practice to remember how to do it the next week!
  • Avoid sitting by children's friends! Having a friend near encourages talk and play.
  • Holding the kids on you lap helps soothe them and feel loved.
  • Sitting on the aisle keeps them more easily contained!
  • Too much stuff makes for more noise. One mother allowed only one Friend magazine for each child. No pencils, toys, etc. They could only sit quietly and look at their magazine, beginning after the sacrament.
  • Lee's family would have three scoops of ice cream Sunday evenings. If a child decided to misbehave at church, mother would simply tell them they were down to two scoops! (Apparently it rarely went much further than that).
  • My dad would rack us! He would take us in the hall and sit us on top of the coat rack so we couldn't run around and enjoy being free of the service. He made our experience inside more enjoyable than the one outside so we weren't rewarded for poor behavior.
That's all I can remember right now. There are some pretty good ideas. I know that there is not one sure trick to this since every child is different and responds to individual consequences. The real trick is continual guidance and practice, the parents being the example.


Coach Ann said...

I think it is important to start early and be consistant. There should also be a lot of love shown for good behavior. As children get older, the best thing is example. Sometimes, the adults are noisier than the children.

Aimee and David said...

I read that you need to practice reverence almost every day with the child and explain when the appropriate times were to be reverent and when they could play. The mom had the child have quiet time every day starting out with 10 minutes and working her way up so the child learned to like it. He would read, play quiet games or just sit still. That way they are practicing and they won't forget from week to week. I really like the Anderson's idea about icecream!

don&janet said...

Children learn everything first from home. FHE is a great time to teach that when someone else is talking they must sit and listen, it isn't their time to talk. They must be taught in a loving way, for reverence is a love and respect for our Father in Heaven and His creations. Be patient and be consistent. You and Lee are great examples for little Annalee!