Image (c) depositphotos.com/rmarmionOne of the biggest fears and struggles parents of young children face is what to do with a squirmy, loud child during the worship service. How do you keep kids quiet so they don't disrupt the service? A few weeks ago I just had to encourage a mom of a young four year old. It was only the boy's third time in the worship service and he stayed very active and hadn't yet mastered a whisper voice. By the end of the service, Mom was embarrassed and exasperated. The truth was that the boy had done quite well for his third time in Big Church. He just needed more time to practice and adjust. It had nothing to do with Mom and Dad's parenting ability. They actually were (and are) doing a great job. The secret is really no big secret. Kids, especially younger kids, do better if they know what to expect. Talk through what happens in Big Church before you get to church. Take a little time during the week to practice sitting quietly through an entire song on the radio or media device, even if your son or daughter uses an activity page in his or her seat. With time, a little preparation, and continued guidance along the way, your child will soon be able to sit through the service without any problems. HINT: If your child simply has to move (like me some days), stick a chenille stick (pipe cleaner) or another small object in your purse for the child to quietly play with during the service. Just be sure it is not tossed in the air as it could fall and cause a great distraction rolling on the floor under several seats. (I'm speaking from experience here.) EXTRA CREDIT: Once your child masters sitting quietly, challenge them to tell you one thing about the service when it is over. It could be a song they heard, something someone said, the sermon topic, or a question they had about something in service. This is a great way to train kids to be listening and learning during the service. Enjoy worship together!