On Becoming “THAT” Family

that-%e2%80%a8familyI am ashamed to admit that this past weekend was the first time we went to church in two months.  I have lots of excuses—babies, travel, moving, etc.—but I know deep down that I have just been lazy and shirking my duties as wife & mother by not getting us there.

So today I ask God for forgiveness, and pray that he will help me get us back on a church routine.

Now, on to the title of this post…”THAT Family”.  At church this weekend, we were THAT family…you know, the one with the fussy crying baby.  The one with the toddler who won’t sit still and screams every time Mama tries to make her sit down.

I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say we had to leave church early.

I am feeling badly about this and am trying to figure out what to do going forward. My kiddos have gotten out of the church routine and no longer know how to behave.

This is a particularly bad time to re-teach DD as she is going through a “phase” of tantrums. But, I read an awesome post by Jill Simonian on mom.me this weekend that gave me the inspiration…and hope…that I will get us back in the church groove.

This article was about training kids to behave at restaurants. It reminded me that behavior is learned and that I can’t simply expect my 15 month old to sit still and be quiet.  Developmentally, her body and mind want to do the opposite.

So I’m going to do what this author suggested: re-train DD on how to sit still and be patient.  We’ll start small and work our way up:

  • Wednesday: Have DD sit on her bottom on the couch when we read together.  Mama will only read if DD is sitting calmly.
  • Thursday: Got to Starbucks for a cake-pop and have DD sit calmly in her chair. (Note: I love what Jill Simonian said in her post about teaching her kids to observe their surroundings as their way of staying entertained. I also love how she talked about respecting others in the restaurant, and having her kids apologize when they were rambunctious).
  • Friday: We’re going to visit Daddy at work, so I hope to try a sit-down cafe maybe a step-up (in formality) from Starbucks.
  • Saturday: Lunch at IKEA, anyone?
  • Sunday: CHURCH. I’m sure it will still be a struggle, but I hope that with daily practice we will get better.

More to come on this…I’ll report back on how things are going.  I would also love to hear if you have tips & tricks to help little ones behave at church and restaurants!