8. Lead By Example – When at church with your child, calmly and politely ignore him. Instead, give your full attention to what is happening on the altar, to the readings, and to the priest. If you show your children how to act, they will quickly follow suit. Simply pretend that you don’t hear the four kids sitting next to you screaming “ARE WE GETTING DONUTS AFTER MASS?”.

9. Don’t Bring Children – When your children are little, it’s OK to leave them at home. This teaches them that going to Mass is a special thing, and something to look forward to. Then, when they are finally of age, they will already know how to behave and be quiet at church because of all the experience……wait, what….. Or, just drop them off in the child care room.

10. Always Bring Your Children – You should always bring your children with you to Mass. It teaches them that it’s the most important thing in their week, and allows them to feel special because they get to spend time with Jesus. Never allow morning-sickness, middle of the night puking sessions, a really late Saturday night bedtime because you were up till 11 pm looking for the pink elephant that your child sleeps with every night because it was hidden in the refrigerator, or any other reason to cause you and your husband to do a split shift Sunday so the kids can stay home. Really, what kind of parent are you?

I hope this advice has been as helpful to you as it is to me, and that you find true joy in taking your children to church….most of the time. 

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Rachel Manley

Rachel Manley is a happy stay-at-home mom of six, six and under. A Nebraska native, she now lives in central Iowa where she often craves Runza, Valentino’s, and Papa Ray’s Pizza. Once a middle school math teacher, she decided to stay home after the birth of her second child and hasn’t looked back…very often. She spends her days reading board books, pushing swings, building train tracks, and giving hugs. By the grace of God Rachel converted to Catholicism in 2004, and soon thereafter married her high school sweetheart. She strives everyday to do the little things, as St. Thérèse did, and to live her life pleasing to Him.