The following is a real e-mail sent to all the sisters in our ward as a reply to another sister sending out a link with Conference activities for kids. I was curious what everyone's thoughts were on what she wrote. Here's her soap box:
Great idea Mary Ann! Thank you for providing this to the sisters. It is a fantastic idea to provide something for the kids to keep them quiet for the long sessions.
I never attend conference any more because the children were so noisy and disruptive that I would be mad and frustrated by the time I would leave. If you are in the back of the chapel, that’s the “play area.” When I did try to attend in years past, I was anything but “spiritually uplifted” from attending the conference. What is so frustrating is the inconsiderate attitude of the parents. They are so accustomed to “tuning out their kids” they are totally obvious to how rude and inconsiderate it is to the other adults in attendance. Not to mention how inconsiderate and rude it is to the speakers who took the time to study and prepare something spiritual for us.
I must give credit to the thoughtful parents that do take the time to teach their kids what behavior is acceptable at church and what is not appropriate when reverence is required. I really appreciate the parents who do take out their children when they are being disruptive and noisy whether that is in Sacrament meeting, Sunday School and/or Relief Society. This sets an example to the other children, too. It doesn’t need to be just crying that requires removal, but having a good noisy “happy” time, too is not reverent. I remember spending the first two years of each of my children’s life in the hallway at church. I don’t recall having the speakers in the hallway 40 years ago like we have now. I know it isn’t easy, but that is what parenting is all about. After all, if you can’t control your toddlers, what will you do when they become teenagers and they’re bigger that you???? At least my teenagers were bigger than me! Back in the “old days” we didn’t have “Nursery class” so we had 3 years to teach the kids how to behave at Church while we stayed in the hallway or visited the bathroom for a little more “encouragement”!
It seems as though some of the problems of noise from the children are carried into Sunday School and Relief Society classes, too, i.e. giving them noisy toys to shake and bang. It’s as if the parents see that they aren’t crying they’re not causing a disturbance when they are laughing and banging their noisy toys such as trucks or their mom’s keys. They do make “quiet” toys which would be more appropriate for Church. Again, I’m sure this is because the parents are accustomed to “tuning this noise out.” Also, I think the moms know that most of us have gone though this, too so we should “understand”. However, this is no excuse. Just because we are grandparents now, doesn’t mean that we love being entertained by those happy, playful toddlers and/or fussy babies! Again, the purpose of going to Church on Sundays is to hear and learn the lessons that are presented to us and to spiritually lift us. We did not get dressed and drive all the way to Church on Sunday to be entertained by babies and toddlers.
When we leave Church on Sunday we should be able to keep the Sabbath Day holy. We should be strengthened to the point that we can deal with all the issues that will face us for the next six days as we go about our daily lives. I think of how often I will reflect on a message I received at Church in a lesson or talk that helps me keep in perspective why we are here and what we are supposed to be accomplishing.
I know I’m not the only “Grandma” that feels this way. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt any ones feelings that reads this, but I felt strongly that I needed to express this.
Comments anyone?? Love to hear them!