By Jodie Lynn
Should parents keep fighting with their kids to go to church every Sunday even if they argue, fuss and pretty much hate it? I just heard this question on a talk show and was wondering what the answer might be. No one there actually had a real answer. We have the same problem with our two elementary school-aged girls and one middle school-aged boy.
ANSWER FROM READER:
I was forced to go to church every Sunday when I was a kid and as soon as I could stop, around seventeen, I didn't go back until I was in my late 30's. For the most part, I didn't want to have to get up on my day off, get dressed up again and attend a service which was boring to me. I did change religions and am much happier with the current one. It might have helped if kids as well as adults could just go to church in a t-shirt and jeans... like we do today. - Ron T. in New York City, NY
Personally, I think it's pretty important for kids and parents to go to church together but maybe be in separate areas with different programs and people. Kids can get pretty antsy during church services for obvious reasons. They seem long and perhaps boring plus kids, like everyone else, have to be quiet. However, depending on what kind of church you attend, there may be alternatives available that the kids may enjoy more. For example, many churches now offer a Friday and even Saturday evening service where it's much more relaxed. And, many offer special services tailored to children and teens. Oftentimes, they go to different rooms according to age groups, similar to Sunday school, or maybe just meet in a larger area beginning at around age eight. Either way, the person leading the congregation is usually a young adult and has several other young adults who are considered to be helpers or youth leaders, who enjoy all ages of kids to teens and have something amazing planned each week for an allotted amount of time. Many offer various opportunities for kid and teen members to become a part of a band, choir or even an actors club, all of which take turns performing during certain times of the month. It can be a very enriching, happy and cool place to hang out and still learn the things parents want them to without all the emotional stress you're currently going through.
CAN YOU HELP?
We recently moved into a house that has four acres surrounding it. There are lots of wild animals like hawks, owls, raccoons, coyotes, etc. Of course, some of these animals are quite active at night either looking for food or fighting amongst themselves and and they make a lot of noise. My two kids are having a lot of trouble going to sleep because they are simply afraid of all these distressing noises. Please offer suggestions for us to help them not be so afraid.
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