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Taking the Toddler to Church

Discipline

We attend church every Sunday and bring the whole family. We often feel like a sideshow as we walk in and are certain many people watch our family’s behavior. We have good weeks and we have bad weeks.

Our biggest battle is with the toddler. One of my boys is currently two and a couple months and our current challenge. We choose to sit near the front as we find the children honestly do better. We do not bring toys, books or food as these are only distractions and do not serve to teach discipline.

Our basic principle at church with a toddler is persistence. I hold him 90 percent of the time. I only put him down when he is behaving well and ask him to sit and stand with the congregation. When he pokes me in the face or grabs my glasses I will hold is hands to restrain him. Before I release him, I will ask him if he will behave.

If he screams, I will walk him out and spank him and then immediately return. All too often, I see toddlers running around outside with well meaning parents. If your child misbehaves in church and is rewarded by being allowed to go outside and play, what lesson are they learning?

Our current two year old seems to have been the most difficult at church. Despite many prior difficult weeks, we have now made it through the last three service without having to leave.

 

 

Written February 2011 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician

 

 

 

 

 

gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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