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Noisy kids in Sacrament


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#21 anatess

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:50 PM

Stop caring so much about what other people are doing. They're trying to teach their kids. Awesome. Good for them.


Okay, so you care enough about other people's children and what their parents are doing so that you want them to go outside so YOU won't get distracted. But if you're a speaker getting distracted, you are caring too much about what other people are doing. Got it.

#22 Vort

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:52 PM

What worked well for me, and for everyone I know who actually tried it, is this:

If your child is under about 18 months old and gets disruptive, take him or her out into the foyer and calm them. Don't let them run around, but do let them play quietly, just as you would in the chapel. Children that young are mostly too young to try to correct.

If your child is 1.5-2 years old or older, encourage them to be still in the chapel. If they refuse to do so, take them out. Don't delay more than thirty seconds or so; they must stop misbehaving immediately or you take them out. And when you get out of the chapel with them, make sure their lives are miserable (relatively speaking). Don't be mean or cruel, of course, but DO NOT LET THEM RUN AROUND. Seriously, I cannot even count the number of parents who take their screaming kids into the foyer and set them loose. What are they (the parents) thinking?!

No, when you take them into the foyer, you sit them on your lap (or on the floor facing the wall) and require them to sit still, silent and with their arms folded. Approximately 30 seconds per year of age is sufficient. When they have successfully sat quietly with their arms folded for the appropriate length of time, ask them if they would rather return to the chapel. If they say "no" -- and several of mine have said "no" at times -- that's fine. They just have to keep sitting there, staring at the wall. Eventually, I guarantee you they will want to go back in.

At that point, calmly tell them that they can be in the chapel only if they are quiet and reverent. Then take them back in, rinse and repeat.

I have taken a child out as often as four times during a single meeting, though it's rarely more than twice. And if you do this consistently -- by which I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME -- it will take a short time, somewhere between a couple of weeks and a few months, depending on the child, until you don't have to take him/her out any more. And after the age of three or four, it's very rare to have to do it again (though I recently took my six-year-old out for misbehaving).

No need to scold or get angry. It's all natural consequences, and it is boring as Safeway vanilla to sit in the foyer. (Mainly for the child -- you can usually hear the speaker. But even if it is boring for you, that's the price you pay to be a good parent.)

As for what the neighbor of a noisy family can do, I can't be of much help there. You can always offer to help if they don't have enough hands, but it's highly risky to offer to discipline the child, even in a friendly way as you suggest. Many people are very touchy about their parenting (or lack thereof) and don't take criticism well, even when the criticism is unintended and merely implicit (or inferred).

As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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#23 Eowyn

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:56 PM

You're a self-proclaimed narcissist and narcissists don't like to lose arguments. Got that. My point is that parents do not take enough responsibility to teach their children proper and civil behavior. That needs to happen by whatever means the parents choose. Turning up the mic as the only solution isn't teaching them anything. There will be some margin of learning where, yes, there will be some shooshing and some going in and out until they get the point. We need to give parents the courtesy and leeway of doing what they need to to teach their children until they learn, instead of getting all offended that they're not putting their attention 100% on you as you bear your testimony. As I said, turning up the mic is fine, but that doesn't take away the responsibility of the parents to teach their children reverence, and that needs to be emphasized in church way more than it is.

#24 Bini

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 01:58 PM

I firmly believe that unruly and noisy children should be removed, inside and outside of church. That said, I don't mind or see anything wrong with parents giving young children a book or snack during Sacrament Meeting to hold them over. I remember when I was a tiny tike having LDS kiddie books to look through and snacks to munch on. By 8, when I was baptised, I knew what reverence was and I was able to sit during meetings without a fuss. Teaching your kids to sit still and listen is a gradual process. I think adults forget this.

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#25 Vort

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:01 PM

I am a parent who makes the choice to wait a bit before I take them out. Mainly because I actually want to hear the talks. I find it difficult to cut a good talk off and leave with children.


I sympathize with you, but parenting comes first. Your first duty is to teach your darling little barbarian to be civilized. Inevitably, that will mean that you miss out on some talks. This is an unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of being a good parent.

Tell your child to cease being disruptive. If s/he does not respond immediately, take him/her out. Really, that is the only polite thing to do. It also happens to be the very best thing for your child, teaching him/her (as it does) that antisocial, disruptive behavior is not tolerated.

As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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#26 anatess

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:06 PM

You're a self-proclaimed narcissist and narcissists don't like to lose arguments. Got that.


Oh that's why you have to win this one. Ok.

My point is that parents do not take enough responsibility to teach their children proper and civil behavior. That needs to happen by whatever means the parents choose. Turning up the mic as the only solution isn't teaching them anything. There will be some margin of learning where, yes, there will be some shooshing and some going in and out until they get the point. We need to give parents the courtesy and leeway of doing what they need to to teach their children until they learn, instead of getting all offended that they're not putting their attention 100% on you as you bear your testimony. As I said, turning up the mic is fine, but that doesn't take away the responsibility of the parents to teach their children reverence, and that needs to be emphasized in church way more than it is.


And my point is that in a ward like the one I'm talking about in Texas, the noise is not created by misbehaved kids. It's created by the natural reverent behavior of a jillion kids under 6. You seem to keep missing that.

And don't put words in my mouth. I never said I was OFFENDED by the twisting parents. I said, as a speaker, I WOULD RATHER the parents pay more attention to what I'm saying than them having to worry so much about their kids.

Are there parents that are not teaching their kids reverence? Yes. That's a given. My point is addressing the other side of that coin. That there are parents who get paranoid over their kids' behavior at church because of their self-consciousness towards their seatmates. Don't walk out of sacrament at the first sign of the baby cooing. He's just fine. Turn the mics up and these parents who are trying their hardest won't feel too paranoid.

I really wish I could show you the sacrament meeting in that ward in Texas. Complete eye-opener that. They need to turn up their mic.

Edited by anatess, 21 June 2012 - 02:14 PM.


#27 Vort

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:07 PM

Anyway, if they had to take the kids out everytime they make noises, you'd have half the meeting out on the hallway.


Not at all. You would indeed have the parents of the infants and very young children in the foyer (or, preferably, other designated holding pen), but with simple and consistent discipline as I suggested above, the other children would be tractable and reasonably reverent.

In the Catholic Cathedral, the ceilings are so high, the walls stone, the microphones booming. Children noises gets swallowed up in the cavernous place and the echo of the mic.

So, I'm thinking we can get the speakers heard by just setting the microphones to LOUD.


This won't work. As you note, Catholic cathedrals are massive, with very high ceilings. The acoustics are completely different from those of an LDS chapel. You would need to turn the speakers up to an ear-splitting level to drown out the crying kids in an undisciplined ward, giving our meetings all the charm and flavor of an inner-city Baptist revival. (Which may indeed be interesting, and even deafening, but cannot reasonably be called "reverent" in any sense.)

As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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#28 Vort

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:10 PM

Okay, as a speaker... I bore my testimony over at that ward in Texas. Standing on the podium while mothers and fathers are twisting this and that shushing their kids, coming in and out of the room... it is very distracting. I would much rather that the adults pay attention to what I'm saying regardless of the activity of the kids.

Same thing. Microphone. Loud. Try it.


Disciplining the children, if done correctly, would take several months at most. Then the ward would be quiet and reverence would return, without having to deafen the audience.

I have never been a bishop, so I don't know what I'm talking about first-hand, but I would think that a creative bishop could help ameliorate this problem by talking privately with the offending families and giving very specific advice, phrasing it as a direct request rather than just a good idea.

As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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#29 Vort

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:11 PM

From what I have read, Eowyn and I seem to see this situation almost exactly the same.

As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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#30 Vort

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:12 PM

I know I already said this but in case it got lost in my long post. lol

I'm a big supporter of positive reinforcement as the only way to go. Bring a treat for after church and only for those that were good as a thank you. Not only will it change the behavior of others it will change your focus during the meeting. Look for the good, ignore the rest.


Positive reinforcement works just great on me. But I have rarely received it. I wish I understood it better and knew how to implement it. That said, the method I outlined previously has worked wonderfully for us, and does not involve explicit punishment.

As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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#31 anatess

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:19 PM

I firmly believe that unruly and noisy children should be removed, inside and outside of church. That said, I don't mind or see anything wrong with parents giving young children a book or snack during Sacrament Meeting to hold them over. I remember when I was a tiny tike having LDS kiddie books to look through and snacks to munch on. By 8, when I was baptised, I knew what reverence was and I was able to sit during meetings without a fuss. Teaching your kids to sit still and listen is a gradual process. I think adults forget this.


I understand this and I know this may be a cultural thing, but if the Catholic children can last for one hour without snacks, LDS children can too. Eating at mass is considered very disrespectful. But, of course, I don't think it is considered that in LDS sacrament. The bishop in our ward always says before the closing song, "pick up your cheerios before you go so the singles ward won't have to worry about it sticking to their clothes". I didn't know this when the kids were little. So, I never did the snack.

#32 Bini

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:25 PM

I understand this and I know this may be a cultural thing, but if the Catholic children can last for one hour without snacks, LDS children can too. Eating at mass is considered very disrespectful. But, of course, I don't think it is considered that in LDS sacrament. The bishop in our ward always says before the closing song, "pick up your cheerios before you go so the singles ward won't have to worry about it sticking to their clothes". I didn't know this when the kids were little. So, I never did the snack.


Definitely a cultural thing. Speaking of culture, even reflecting back on how chaotic church was back in the Philippines is mind-blowing. For the most part, my family attended an expat ward but occasionally we had visitors attend and on rarer occasions we attended local wards - those times in Sacrament Meeting were loud and smelly! Kids ran around and were loud, entire families would sit around and eat (hint = smelly food!). It's just a different world in comparison to life here where I am, Utah. I'm sure you're able to relate to some of that.

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#33 anatess

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 02:30 PM

Not at all. You would indeed have the parents of the infants and very young children in the foyer (or, preferably, other designated holding pen), but with simple and consistent discipline as I suggested above, the other children would be tractable and reasonably reverent.


Vort, I'm talking about this ward in Texas. There are about 30 kids in nursery! Plus the babies under nursery age... There are about 60 families... remember what you said about nursery age kids?

It's an amazing ward... only about 2 people I saw who are grandparent-age. Lots of pregnant women so I'm sure the nursery is not about to shrink in size anytime soon.

P.S. One thing that was super amazing... the ward building is set up like our ward where the RS room is on the other side of the hallway as the Primary room. When the Primary is singing, you can hear it straight across the hallway through the closed doors!

This won't work. As you note, Catholic cathedrals are massive, with very high ceilings. The acoustics are completely different from those of an LDS chapel. You would need to turn the speakers up to an ear-splitting level to drown out the crying kids in an undisciplined ward, giving our meetings all the charm and flavor of an inner-city Baptist revival. (Which may indeed be interesting, and even deafening, but cannot reasonably be called "reverent" in any sense.)


No, I'm not talking about un-disciplined kids. I'm talking about the ward in Texas. Reasonably reverent kids - still noisy. Lots of wards are like that. Our ward used to be that - well, not as big as the one in Texas but we had about 75 kids in primary - and sacrament meeting was noisy - okay, not as noisy as the one in Texas. But, it's not the hush of our ward now (our ward got split three times).

But you're right, the acoustics may not support the loud mics. I think the high cathedral ceilings contribute to the effect as well. Good point.

Edited by anatess, 21 June 2012 - 02:34 PM.


#34 Gwen

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:08 PM

Positive reinforcement works just great on me. But I have rarely received it. I wish I understood it better and knew how to implement it. That said, the method I outlined previously has worked wonderfully for us, and does not involve explicit punishment.


My comments were more for the op in what to do about other ppl's children. Rarely should you discipline a child that is not yours, however you are always welcome to compliment them.

I have no issues with what you outlined for your own child.

I'm in a branch where we have no foyer, mother's room, etc. Even if you leave the room everyone can hear you. The few other children at church come from families that are very new and to be blunt have few parenting skills as it is. They take the kids out and things are more disruptive than they were in the chapel. One time you could hear the mother spanking the child (I'm not totally against spanking but this got me ruffled). Everyone was looking around no one knew what to do. It gets to this point out of exhaustion, frustration and not knowing better. I've found that if I just offer to take the kid out for them then I can help teach the kid, parents get to stay in and get taught and reverence is maintained. I frequently have children sitting with me that are not my own.

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#35 Daybreak79

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 03:27 PM

From what I have read, Eowyn and Vort have hit the nail on the head to the solution needed. I live in the Daybreak area where our wards have had up to 500+ attending sacrament (no joke! Our Sacrament meetings have looked like what other areas have for Stake Conf.). And our primary kids have always out number the adults and we often had (4) nurseries with 12 to 18 kids each. When the parents do as Eowyn and Vort have described the Sacrament meeting can be more enjoyable and reverent for everyone involved. I know we did the same thing with our daughter and now that she is 5 we don't have any issues and really haven't for about 3 years.

#36 annewandering

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:07 PM

When our kids were loud I took them out to the foyer. When I realized they liked that I made it not a happy playtime for them. We pretended we were in the chapel being reverent. I told them that since they were not reverent in the chapel that we would practice in the foyer where they didnt disturb people. Once, Pres. Haight came to my brother's ward. My brothers family always sat in the front since his kids behaved better up there. Well one child, about 3, was being noisy. Elder Haight looked at my brother and told him that he would pause in his talk till my brother took the boy out so people could hear the talk. Then he quietly waited while they left the chapel. I always thought that would be incredibly embarrassing but it did make a good point. (my brother was actually pretty good at keeping the kid quiet by the way but kids are never going to always be quiet)

#37 Iggy

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:10 PM

Every single LDS building is equipped with electronic listening aids. I wear two hearing aids, thus the noise nearest me is picked up and amplified. Mommy shussing 20 month old is way louder than 20 month old saying Hi to the speaker.

The Listening device goes into just one ear- and the speaker has to talk INTO the microphone for it to work. At first our Branch President thought I was being a pain when I asked for one, Every Sunday. AND I kept it until the end of all the Blocks. Those sisters in RS insist on speaking in Temple Voices. They don't want to stand BEHIND the podium and use the microphone.

Well, guess what? I was not the only one who could not hear. Our Branch only had two of those devices. After 6 months of 12 of us Sisters and 8 of the Brothers asking for one, they now have 24. I could purchase one just for myself, they only cost under $100.00.

I will save up my soda pop bottles and use the refund money to purchase one. In the meantime just make sure the Librarian has it ready for me 15 minutes before start time.

anatess, I agree with you. Turn up the mic. I also say, Mommies cease with adding to the noise level with your shusses & stage whispered Quiets. Kiddo's aren't listening to you- they have long ago tuned you out. Put your finger over their little mouths AS you are removing them from the chapel. Take them ALL the way out side and into your car. They don't want to be in the Chapel, they want to be in Nursery PLAYING.

When I was in Primary, we took the disruptive children to Daddy. Why should we reward them by taking them to Mommy in RS and letting them disrupt RS. Mommy ignored them in Sacrament, she ignores them in RS. BUT Daddy makes them be quiet. There is the added plus of all of those dark suited UNCLES & GRANDPA figures glaring at you to cool your little jets and shushes 'em right up!

Our Chapel does not have bench pews, we have upholstered stacking chairs. The visitors we get are always surprised when they see this. THEIR primary aged children LOVE it, they get THEIR VERY OWN chair, with the added bonus of it being SOFT & WARM. In RS the mommies exclaim that their little ones have never been that quiet in their own home wards. Too bad our own toddlers aren't as happy and content to sit quietly. Also, the visitors put the adults between the kiddos. Come with 4 little ones, Mom and Dad don't sit at one end- they split the kids up. Wish the local mom & dads did that.

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#38 Wingnut

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Posted 21 June 2012 - 04:19 PM

Every single LDS building is equipped with electronic listening aids.


Every single LDS building should have the capacity to have electronic listening aids, but not every building actually has that equipment in place and available for use.
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#39 MasterOrator

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 01:03 PM

I sympathize with you, but parenting comes first. Your first duty is to teach your darling little barbarian to be civilized. Inevitably, that will mean that you miss out on some talks. This is an unfortunate but unavoidable side effect of being a good parent.

Tell your child to cease being disruptive. If s/he does not respond immediately, take him/her out. Really, that is the only polite thing to do. It also happens to be the very best thing for your child, teaching him/her (as it does) that antisocial, disruptive behavior is not tolerated.


At 5 months and 18 months it is not a matter of being a good parent. They don't understand if you tell them not to do something. Try telling a 5 and 18 month old to be reverent. Any inconsistent discipline they will not understand, like doing something once a week. If you take them out, you are mainly doing it as a courtesy to other people.
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#40 Vort

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 01:09 PM

At 5 months and 18 months it is not a matter of being a good parent. They don't understand if you tell them not to do something. Try telling a 5 and 18 month old to be reverent. Any inconsistent discipline they will not understand, like doing something once a week. If you take them out, you are mainly doing it as a courtesy to other people.


True, but as I wrote before, any child 18 months or younger is too young to be disciplined. You take them out and make them comfortable (though don't let them run around and play). And yes, it is a courtesy to everyone else. In this case, it's not so much being a good parent as being a polite person in society.

The social contract is this: While our children are small, we take them out of the chapel whenever needed, even though that means missing the meeting, so that others may enjoy the meeting uninterrupted. Then, for the rest of our lives, we get to enjoy the meeting uninterrupted while other parents of young children take their kids out so as not to disturb us and everyone else.

The alternative is: Parents don't bother to show politeness by taking their screaming kids out, the result being that no one ever gets to hear anything throughout their entire lives.

As if anyone could knowingly commit sin without being changed both in spirit, body, and mind. Let me say this again, sin changes who we are! --james12
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