Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday School blues

Zari got kicked out of Sunday School today.

I love saying that. And it's true. So here's the back story: we go to a 3-hour block of meetings on Sundays. The first hour is the main worship service, called "Sacrament Meeting." The second and third hours are various Sunday school classes; children go to "Primary" classes. 

Anyway, Zari had been really restless and difficult all during Sacrament Meeting. She went off to Primary, and I played hooky from Sunday School and sat in the lobby with Inga. (Sometimes I just need a break after shepherding all three kids during the worship service.) About ten minutes later, I heard loud moans coming down the hallway. Zari was being carried--rather ungracefully, since she's quite tall--by one of the teachers. Apparently she had been acting out repeatedly. Finally they gave her a choice: settle down or leave. It's obvious what her choice was!

She wasn't happy about being kicked out. For about fifteen minutes, she moaned and cried: "I want to go to Primary! I want to go to Primary!" I laid her on the couch, covered her with a blanket, and waited until she began to quiet down. Then I told her she could go back if she was ready to calm herself down and be helpful in class. We took a few deep breaths together. She wiped her tears off and put on a cheerful face. She was ready. We walked down the hall holding hands, and she went right to her teacher's lap for some extra hugs and snuggles. All was well again.

I'm glad that she was kicked out. She deserved it! Now she knows that certain behaviors are not appropriate and that her teachers won't take any nonsense. 

Sometimes, your kids just need to cry. Sometimes, they need to be kicked out of class, even if it's just Sunday School.


  1. This is great. Sometimes I think my kids should kick me out of the house when I'm being grumpy!

  2. yep, btdt with my kids too! Setting healthy and loving boundaries is so important. A healthy church is one that has reasonable expectations of children and helps them to join in appropriately. We have our 3 kids in liturgy and they are expected to sit or stand nicely and be quiet...otherwise they are taken out for a time-out.

  3. Exactly! We have a "quiet chair" for when my 2 year old son is behaving inappropriately (our current issue is throwing things). He gets quite upset when you put him in the chair even though there is nothing keeping him in it because he knows that we're not happy with his behavior. Sometimes he gets right out and is fine and sometimes he stays there for a while until he calms down but we rarely have to put him back in the chair right away.

  4. as a primary teacher I've thought SO many times that a kind "time-out" with mom or dad would be an immense help for everyone involved but I have been so afraid to take the kids out and risk offending parents that I've almost never done it. Only when I've personally known the parents and knew they'd be understanding.

  5. It's good for the parents of the kid--basically telling them, "You be the parent, we aren't your baby-sitters!" Some parents just want the teachers to take care of everything. I'm glad you aren't that kind of parent.

  6. I had the opposite experience. One of our sons was quite a handful and we were often exasperated with his behavior. But his Primary teachers loved him! After one Sunday when his teacher praised his exemplary behavior to me, I asked him why he was so much better in Primary than at home. He told me, "I only have so much goodness in me. Wouldn't you rather have me use it at church?" I had to admit he was right!


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