Train Your Children to Sit Quietly in The Assembly

 

Train Your Children to Sit Quietly in the Assembly

First, begin training your child at home from babyhood to sit still and be quiet when told to. You can do this during family worship time or reading time. Here are some tips. Hold the little one on your lap while your spouse or older children read. When he starts to make a noise, briefly lay your fingers on his mouth and whisper, “No.” If he tries to climb down, hold him firmly and whisper, “No.” After repeating this procedure several times, follow up noises or attempts to escape by tapping him on the thigh with a small, light stick. (If you start early enough, you will not need to use much force.)

After the child has had enough time to make the association between his actions and your discipline (some days or weeks), begin taking him to another room for discipline. He will likely get quiet as soon as you stand up with him; proceed to the other room and follow through anyway. Be sure to use just enough force to make it an undesirable experience for him. Hold him lovingly until he stops crying before you return to the family, but do not try to cheer him up with toys, playing, talking, or laughing. He may decide it’s worth the spanking to get the playtime. Be consistent on a daily basis in requiring this quiet time for all your children. Expect those who are learning to read to participate by reading aloud–first only the easy words, then sentences, then paragraphs, pages, and chapters.

In the assembly, follow through exactly as you do at home. Making exceptions may save a few trips to the back room initially, but will multiply the infractions as children try to find your limits. It’s actually cruel to make them guess what they can get away with, and it tempts them to disobey.

Second, you will need your spouse, a friend, or an older child to stay with your other children while you take out the “needy” one. Plan ahead for this.

Third, let your children see how you attend to the leader and participate in the meeting. Always look up the Scriptures and find the songs. Help older children find the place, too, as soon as they are interested or are learning to read.

Fourth, do not worry about missing part of the meeting. The Holy Spirit is able to meet your needs through a single song, sentence, or Scripture, if need be. Your obedience to God in training your children will make you more receptive to His truth, and if your spirit is calm, you will be able to serve others as well, both by word and by example. (A cassette tape recorder can assure that you will not miss the messages and the singing.)

Fifth, pray with and for your children that they will be obedient and honoring to God in the assembly. Pray also for the other adults in the meeting who have become unaccustomed to the presence of children that God will open their hearts to these little ones as you work to make them respectful and responsible participants in the gatherings.

(Adapted from Update, Jan-Feb, 1994)

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