R.D. asks from San Francisco, CA on December 15, 2008
My adorable granddaughter does not want me to hold her during church on sundays.
That is the only time I see her. every sunday since she was two months old I held her and now she kicks and sreams when my she is passes to me. How can I bond with her during the short period I see her.
So What Happened?™
First,my daughter lives in another city and works full time. We attend our family church were I grew up and so did she. My granddaughter is 18 months,so I just need to be patient. My walking is not too good so I can't walk her to the park. She does not interfer with other worship because we are a family oriented church. I do think a children's church is in order at least one Sunday per month.
T.V. answers from San Francisco on December 15, 2008
AFTER READING YOUR “So What Happened”.
Regina—Most Christ centered churches, not to mention any denominations that are “FAMILY ORIENTED” places of worship, meditation or devotion, are “child friendly”…. still a screaming, kicking child is a disruption that other worshipers should NOT and Do NOT want to contend with.
So your daughter lives in another city…the fact that she attends services with you indicates that she is willing to travel the distance on Sunday or your day of worship.
Your walking is not too good? If the only activity you are able to do with your grandchild is to hold her, unless she is asleep, that may present a problem. given she is an active, 18 month old child. You can bond with your grandchild if your daughter is able to spend a little time with you before, after, or both on Sunday service days.
This way, you can talk to your grandchild, sit, watch her play and run around. When she tires, you can hold her and maybe read a story. Don’t make it impossible, or it will be.
As a courtesy to your brothers and sisters on Sunday, a kicking, screaming child does not belong in worship services. You didn’t elaborate why Sunday services are the only times you get to spend time with your grandchild. However, I suggest you “bond” with her in the children’s nursery (if your church has one). If not, take your grandchild outside, walk, talk, and play with her.
I would be interested to know where the child’s parent’s are during services and why they don’t allow you additional time outside of Sunday to spend with your grandchild. There are definitely some pieces missing from your story.
1 mom found this helpful
N.M. answers from San Francisco on December 15, 2008
I'm not sure how old your granddaughter is, what type of church you attend, or what type of children's programs are available there, but let me tell you how I handled this with my own children, and maybe it will help you. I'm going to guess your granddaughter is 6-12 months old.
When my babies were tiny, they slept a lot during service or were content to be held. Then they grew big enough that they needed to move and play, and it was near impossible to keep them in my arms and quiet during church. It's nothing personal (like the other mom said), it's just the age. (My son is 7 years old and can finally sit well in church. My daughter is 5 years old and still is very wiggly, though she can now be quiet.)
Anyway, what I had to do was use the church nursery during the services. The ladies in there were (are) very kind and loving, and they were more than willing to let me stay in the nursery with my baby/toddler. If you can do this, it will still give you time with your granddaughter even while you are at church. Then you can maybe go to the evening service for yourself.
Another option is that some churches have a special room that is noise-proof that families can sit in and not worry about disturbing others, yet still see and hear the church service. My church doesn't have one, but sometimes I have held my wiggly baby (or let her crawl around my feet) as I stood in the lobby and watched through the glass and listened to the speakers.
Oh, another option, if your granddaughter is old enough, is to bring books or crayons/paper to keep her quietly busy on the seat beside you.
I'm sorry you don't get more time with your granddaughter, and I pray that this will get better for you.
M.M. answers from Modesto on December 16, 2008
You probably recall how children become pretty focused on mama and/or their primary caregivers at about this age. A small infant isn't nearly as particular about who is holding her as is a toddler.
I agree with suggestions to adjust the environment and your expectations to match her needs and abilities at this age. Playing with her in the nursery during services would go a lot farther in terms of getting her to enjoy being with you than making her sit in your lap. Then you can interact with her, show her toys, laugh, play - things to which she'd respond positively.
Sitting still is hard for most toddlers, so asking her to do that during the one and only time you're spending with her each week is going to reinforce a negative association with you.
C.L. answers from Fresno on December 15, 2008
Unfortunately at 18 months old, toddlers love to run around and explore. My daughter can't sit still very long and is always on the go. Maybe you could take her somewhere fun with your daughter after church. My daughter is getting closer to two and is no getting a little more cuddley, but not like when she was a baby.
S.L. answers from San Francisco on December 15, 2008
Well I do agree with Toni in that church is no place for a screaming child, However, I wouldn't take it personally , she is growing up, the more they grow, the LESS they want to be held, it's nothing against you. However, that which I might suggest is this, why not take her to a nearby park while her parents are at the service. IF you feel the need to attend, many churches have services on both Saturday and Sunday, you could attend on the day your grandchild isn't visiting with you. It's a workable situation.
C.O. answers from Sacramento on December 18, 2008
We see those babies and we just want to hold and love them...it is easy to forget that they have their own preferences, time tables and blossoming independence. The worst thing one can do is force affection on a child, as I am sure you already know.
Do you think she would enjoy exploring your hand? I remember as a young child I enjoyed tracing and touching my grandmother's hand, nails, and rings. I found it facinating. Perhaps you could hold a quiet, safe, but interesting toy for her to explore.
I hope you can have time to be with her after services, but before she goes home.
There was a baby in our family who was very mommy centric. She was incredibly shy with other people which was a new experince for me as I am used to babies taking to me. (blow to the ego to be sure! ;) So I changed my behavior a bit.
First, I just gave the occaisional glance...nothing intense, but the quick occaisional eye contact and then glancing away. Later I did it with a soft smile. When she maintained eye contact I would wink and smile and look away. Pretty soon we could look at each other and smile for a few seconds. I left everything on her terms. Eventually she brought a toy over and played with it near me...I still did not persue her but smiled encouragingly and played with another toy. Eventually she tolerated me talking to her. When she was ready, she made the move to interact fully with me. This did not happen in one day!
Try not to take her 'rejection' to personally...It is very normal for her not to want anyone else but mom and/or dad.
I wish you well.