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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Susanna Wesley's Household Rule #6

Here are my thoughts on Susanna Wesley's Household Rules:
Rule #6: Require all to be still during Family Worship.
I do not think that it is unreasonable to expect a very young child to show respect by maintaining a reverent attitude, especially during important occasions.  I do think it is unreasonable to expect a very young child under the age of 2 to uphold silence and remain seated for prolonged periods of time - fifteen to twenty minutes at the most.

For example, I expect Stardust to remain silent during prayer time, or when another person is speaking.  He is generally able to respect prayer time or wait for lull in conversation - but not always.  When he forgets himself, I have to remind him firmly of our expectations for him and he is usually obedient (emphasis on 'usually').

I have noticed, in my own church, that there are children who have been allowed the freedom to do as they will whilst they are toddlers...then they reach six or seven years of age when it is 'no longer cute' and their parents decide that it is time to impose restrictions upon them.  Naturally, they are resistant to the sudden change in rules and it is much more difficult to get them to comply.

It really all boils down to parental goals and expectations.  If you expect your child to behave in a certain way, and you wholeheartedly and consistently set upon reinforcing those behaviours, eventually your child will naturally try to meet your expectations.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with you entirely. When mine were 3 and 2 3/4, I would be able to take them to a Remembrance service and they would sit quietly through it because I explained it all to them in simplistic terms and they sensed the atmosphere as well. On other Sundays, they would be reasonably quiet and except for the odd occasion when my eldest would say to the people behind who were praying "wake up!"


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