Infant/Toddler

1. Sit in a place where your children can see what is happening on the platform. 2. Children should be seated with adults, not with friends. 3. Allow them a notebook with colored pencils. Encourage them to draw what they see, hear and feel during the service, including pictures of what the sermon topic is about, etc. 4. Clue your child into what will be happening next in the service. Encourage them to look for familiar words on the PowerPoint screen, in the songbook and the Bible, in the passages being used in the services. If there is an unfamiliar word, they can write it in their notebook for discussion later. 5. Praise your child when he is listening well. 6. Allow your child to put money in the offering plate, and explain why we do it. 7. Set an example for your child by the way you participate in the worship service. 8. During the sermon or special music, have your child squeeze your hand every time they hear a certain word: e.g. “Jesus”, “love”, etc. 9. Talk about the service to your child afterwards. Ask ‘wondering’ questions: “I wonder why Jesus enjoyed being in the temple so much.” “I wonder what blind Bartimaeus saw Jesus do after he was healed.” 10. Visit the sanctuary before the service and explain the meaning behind the various symbols (holiness table, mercy seat, flags, etc.) 11. Exit when necessary – if your child is hurt or distressed, being too loud and rambunctious, a toileting emergency, etc. Teach your child what behaviour is acceptable. When the cause of the child’s complaint has been resolved, return to the service with him. Exiting without re-entry is counter-productive. 12. Don’t be afraid to cuddle with them, or put a hand around their shoulder, during the course of the service. 13. Relax. God put the “wiggle” in children.

 

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