Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How to Prepare Children to SIT

If you've ever met my children you'd know that they are jumpy and can't sit very well, especially when in a "church" setting.  Not that we frequent churches often, but on occasion we do try out new ones.  

Recently we returned to more visiting.  This brought us to visit another church last weekend, and since we do NOT believe in Sunday School, the children needed to sit with us.

It didn't go so well.  They just aren't trained for it.  

There was rolling about in their chairs.  A couple of times a child ended up on the floor to roll around there too, and it wasn't even the baby.  The girls in dresses didn't mind folding up their knees to expose themselves.  It was pretty embarrassing.  So, if you ever want to know exactly WHAT behaviours you need to work on in your children, just take them out in public, specifically to a place that requires a standard of decorum, and you'll soon be set to find out exactly what you need to work on.

I just want to interject here that asking for practical advice from other women usually gets you either, 1.  spiritual answers { oh, pray about it, hang in there, it'll happen } 2.  no clear practical path on how to achieve a desired outcome. { Maybe I just haven't found the very specific questions to get the answers I need. }  Perhaps you'll even get a book recommendation.

In short, I never seem to find women who can be up front and very straight with you about their practicalities.   They'll hedge around it, they'll hint about it.  But they most certainly won't let you see them in action. In our modern, judgmental society women have become afraid of sharing the nitty gritty's.  In a society that is godless, in rebellion, the ability to mentor and share is becoming more and more fraught with danger to outside attack.  So the woman does her best in her own home, and keeps the doors closed.

Either way, if I see your children sit an entire day in a conference and they behave the whole way through, I REALLY want to know the practicalities of HOW you got that to happen.

I want to know HOW you trained them to be able to do that.   What do you do in your home that enables that to take place?  

Now while I want to know, I'm not going to be brazen and say, "Can I come to your home and hang out with you for 12 hours so I can see you in action with your children".  Now that would FREAK any mother out.   Knowing someone was looking over their shoulder, even if it was for learning purposes.  So you just look for social visits so you can get peeks into WHAT and HOW to run your own family.

No, I can't rely on my own experiences from when I was a child.  I come from a really dysfunctional and broken family home.  What I got as a child, needs to go straight to the bin.  Do not pass go, do not collect $200, put straight into the bin.

In the mean time this is all I got.  It's NEW, so I'm still ironing out the creases.

We have started doing a very purposeful SIT time.  Also known as "Circle Time".

I use this time to get them to SIT on a little chair - all the little chairs are placed in a row next to each other - all facing the front { looking at me } while we go through our memory folder.  We also do a History reading or a Science lesson.  At the moment we are aiming for 20 - 30 mins.  This is helping to train them to SIT and to face the speaker at the front.  I am shuddering inside at the thought of that, but hey, if we want to visit churches or even go on a regular basis then I'm just going to have to get past that, and get these children able.

As you can guess, I think like this:  this unfortunate method also resembles the prison co-op commonly known as a public school.  I feel a bit ridiculous that I've had to practice sitting in a row like where in a concert hall.  This doesn't leave the children much wiggle room.  Or space to get comfy on the sofa.  Nope, that's out.

This is the method that I am using to try and get them to learn to SIT still long enough for us to go to a church service without all the embarrassment.  I hope it works.

In addition, I'll be talking about our "Circle Time" in a couple of days.  I'll be reviewing a neat little book that's worked out well for min this department.  So I hope you'll come back for another visit soon.  :o)


  1. Ugh!! i know how you feel! first of all circle times sound great and its a good starting point. second some children learn by moving. which may not be a problem if done discreetly. thirdly, with our kids, if they make enough noise for people to begin to be distracted, then they get a little squeeze where the shoulder and neck meet and quietly told to shh!! if they continue or are outright defiant then its to the car for a proper spanking. then we explain whats expected of them and told they need to stop crying before we go back in to the building. as soon as they are old enough to read well, i give them a king james bible and they can read it during church. for younger readers i let them take a board book on a bible topic or missionary etc. for babies a really quiet toy. no snacks, no toys in the cry room, no pencils,crayons, ipad games, nintendo ds games, no 'worldly stuff, no sunday school. i allow them to move a little and nothing above a whisper. Sometimes they shift in their seat because they need the bathroom. so give them a good breakky, a drink, even a run around outside amd get them to use the bathroom before you go in. oh ,and no leaving to use the loo while the sermon is going. :-) i hope this helps. we dont always get it right but make sure you praise them like crazy when they do well. they are allowed to sit on the floor at our feet or lie down if they are sleepy. but they cant roll all over the place.

  2. Yep, this is a hard one. I'm linking you to an article by Maranatha Chapman [You may have read some of her articles in An Encouraging Word] where she talks about teaching contentment [stillness] from an early age. I wish I had read this when mine were little as I had a kindle of jumping beans!


  3. We always attended a church where children of all ages sat with their families so also had this struggle. (Breast feeding mums took bubs out and also both mums and dads took the children out if they needed discipline :-) All mine were different but training from the get go was a big part of it. Family worship was always conducted at the table, in seats, and the length increased as children got older. School days began with prayer, reading and memorization, likewise, formally at the table. (When all our children were older we relaxed to the lounge). Being consistant is key, and for me was one of the difficulties often feeling just too overwhelmed to take the time. Stick with it!


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