Sunday, April 26, 2009

A fluke?

jr. was A. Perfect. Angel. today in sacrament meeting.

I know, I know, after April Fool's you're probably thinking this is just another joke. But it's not! jr. behaved quietly all the way through the meeting and never had to be taken out. Not even once.

Josh wondered if it was something jr ate. I think something else might have had a little more to do with it, although I know it's too early to celebrate (who knows what will happen next week!).

Recently Josh and I read an article that my mother sent us by Orson Scott Card called "Does Civilization Begin in Sacrament Meeting?" We got a lot of helpful tips about how to teach your child from a very young age to behave during sacrament meeting, and we have been trying to use them. If you, too, suffer from a Sunday-Screamer, you should check out a few of Card's ideas.

Basically, the rules are:

1. No talking out loud.

2. No interaction with people on other benches.

3. The child never touches the floor.

4. Silent reading and drawing are the only permitted activities. (jr. plays with toys)

5. No food or drink during sacrament meeting, ever.

6. Partake of the sacrament.

7. Any activity that results in laughter or loud noise must stop immediately.

8. No hitting or hurting of anyone, by anyone.

9. Bathroom needs, diaper changes, and physical injuries are the only acceptable reason for leaving the meeting, and only long enough to solve the problem.

10. Willful violations of the rules result in removal from the meeting and containment.

Card then goes on to describe what "containment" means. Basically, every time your child (of an age at which they can start to understand you) breaks one of these rules, you whisk them out to the foyer. But once there, you stand, holding the child tightly, not letting them move at all (not hurting them, though!) and face their face to yours. Then you sing hymns or talk gently (about how if they're quiet they'll get to go back inside again) to them until they calm down and stop struggling. You do not chat with other people in the foyer, or let your child be rewarded by setting them down. When they are completely recovered from their fit, you take them back in to the meeting.

Josh probably took jr. out of the meeting ten times last week. This week? Zero.

So maybe next week we'll have the same ol' behavior as always... I know change takes time. But I really think these tips are helpful and hope that in the long run jr. can learn good self-control and how to sit quietly for an hour.


Jen said...

Congratulations! It makes Sacrament Meeting so much more enjoyable when the children are able to sit quietly.

Owen did really well today too. However, he HAD to be taken out but only once. That is an improvement from last week and the week before. My problem is sibling rivalry on the bench. (Owen v. Mason)


Chloe and Tyler said...

Wow, good advice...i'll definitely have to try that.

Jdkaroly said...

That is pretty much Amazing! :) I mean if more people did that it would make sacrament meeting much more spiritual. I think mom did some stuff like that. But alas I can't really remember. Good luck for next week! :) You too Jen!

Aaron and Ashley said...

Very good teaching moments, and he does look like a little angel. Our bishop had to get up and "repramand" our congregation last year because parents were not teaching their children to be reverent. It was an eye opener for me. I think the advice you gave was perfect. :)

Lindsey said...

There are so many people in our ward who could benefit from that article!

I always enjoy your posts. Your son is getting cuter every day!

Linda said...

Of course it wasn't a fluke?! Come on! Jr. would never misbehave. (on purpose)

NoSurfGirl said...

Yay!!!! Give me updates, I think I might be converted to this method.

Steph said...

Wow! I'm keeping that list for when we have kids! (Although I know you had to take Junior out this week a few times) it all comes one step (or week) at a time! :)