Tips for Adults Worshipping with Children

Find a good spot. Sit where you and your children are most comfortable. Sometimes children like to sit in the front, so they can see and hear what is going on during the service. Sometimes children like to sit where they can watch the musicians up in the loft. Sometimes they like to sit where they can walk up and down the side aisle when their legs get restless.

Sing, pray, respond. Children will learn liturgical behavior by following along and copying what you do. It’s okay when kids make a bit of noise and even on occasion have a full-throttle tantrum in church. We expect it, and we won’t give dirty looks if it happens to you.

Teach. Explain parts of the service to your children. You can help your children follow along in the worship booklet, and find music in our hymnals.

Snacks are OK.  If a bag of Goldfish or Cheerios helps a child be present and comfortable, by all means, snack away! Please try to pick up any dropped snacks before you leave; they’re a lot easier to clean up before they get stepped on.

Take breaks. Obviously, a screaming child needs a break from the liturgy. It’s perfectly fine to get up and take your child out of the Nave (worship space) at any time they need it.  There are chairs and toys in the Meeting Room, at the other end of our main floor, past the kitchen.  In nice weather, a walk outside can help too. Our Childcare Helpers, who hang out in the Peace Corner at the back of the Nave, may be able to take your child for a break while you stay in worship.

Use the crayons, coloring pages, books, etc.! At the entrances to the Nave and in the Peace Corner, we have crayons, coloring sheets, and children’s books for kids to use during the liturgy.

Take a tour. Allowing the children time to explore and learn about the important elements of the sanctuary will relay the importance of entering the sacred space with reverence. If you’d like a guided tour, talk to Rev. Miranda. She loves talking with kids about church.

Talk with others. If you feel like your kids are having a difficult time, chat with other parents  to ask for their advice after the service at hospitality. There’s a lot of collective wisdom out there.

For any questions, concerns, or ideas about children in worship, talk to Rev. Miranda after church or contact us through the website! And thanks for bringing your kids to church!

6205 University Ave., Madison WI

St. Dunstan's Episcopal Church