How do you get children to not just be quiet during Mass, but also to pay attention and listen? For infants and toddlers, that’s just not always possible, hence the ubiquitous “cry room”. For preschoolers there are often childcare provisions mixed with age appropriate religious education. But what about kids who are a little older, visiting and out of their regular routine or not in some sort of CCD class during Mass?
Catholic parents have a lot of tricks up their sleeves, some better than others. I’m not a fan of food in Mass and when parent utilize electronic devices it tends to go from bad to worse. One year at St. Mary’s in Los Gatos, we saw a boy about to receive his First Holy Communion play with a video game all through Mass. When it was time for him to walk up the aisle, his mother took it away. You think that maybe those parents were a little too lax? Yeah, me too….
What worked for us was a combination approach: (more…)