Have a question about parenting or family? Send your question to Diana Dworin.
Q: How can I encourage my son, age 10, to tune in during worship? He's always trying to nap in the pew and never follows along with the community. It's like pulling teeth to get him to participate in the smallest of ways, and I find myself getting angry with him.
A: If you're tapping your son's shoulder to cue him to stand for hymns or nudging your daughter awake for the community's prayers, you're certainly not alone. Many parents feel their patience slipping as they teach their children to participate in worship.
Set a healthy bedtime routine on Saturday nights and offer a nutritious breakfast before Sunday worship. Some parents find sitting up front rather than in the back pews helps their children remain engaged.
Other moms or dads find that explaining the "whys" behind worship customs — from standing at the Gospel reading to sharing the peace — helps their children gain an understanding of what's happening around them.
When children learn about these traditions, they're more likely to want to participate rather than sit out.
© 2013 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers