I hesitate to address this week’s suggestion, but it’s a reality that’s wise to attend.
If you have a child like one of mine, snacks during a worship service may be a necessity. I came to realize that when I eliminated hunger as a distraction, she was able to maintain her composure and participate fully at her own level.
Let me quickly clarify that I am NOT saying parents should pack a picnic to satisfy a child’s fancy. (I simply liked the image.) Rather, one or two items will be sufficient to fight the real-life hunger game. As with the other resources we mention here and in our book, they need to be carefully chosen and wisely managed.
The primary component in providing this resource is planning ahead.
*Find a seat where you will be comfortable and relaxed to breast or bottle feed.
*Be alert to your child’s hunger signals and respond before he becomes frantic.
*Pack a food item that is easy to transport, access, and handle.
*If a drink is helpful, transport water or non-staining juice in a spill-proof container.
*Keep worship as a priority by viewing a snack as a simple provision.
*Pay attention to their mood and offer a snack before they start losing control.
*Limit their movement while snacking to respect the Lord’s sanctuary by keeping it tidy.
*Plan for clean up, expecting your child will participate. Practice at home.
Ideas: tiny box of raisins, small container of cereal or crackers, baggie of bite-size pieces of fruit
Additional for Older Child
*Bring a food item in container they can access with a bit of effort.
*Continue to be cautious about liquids by only using cups with secure lids.
*Watch developmental changes to minimize, delay, or remove snack.
*Increase focus and attention on worship participation with drawing and note taking.
Ideas: avoid sugary and pre-packaged items, have child prepare snack themselves
As always, we encourage parents to consider their role in the larger context of the body of Christ.
While doing our best to meet the needs of our children as we lay the groundwork to worship as a family, we need to go out of our way to avoid being a disruption to those around us. We address this topic more fully in our book. Today we’ll close with the directions from Paul and Timothy.
“Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4
May the Lord fill you with His wisdom and grace.
with confidence in His care,
Curt & Sandra