If there's one time you really really pray for your child to keep quiet and still during worship services, it's at those special times of year like Christmas. You long for the picture-postcard family experience, each child dressed impeccably for the holiday, captivated by the stories and the carols, bound by religious devotion and the proximity of Santa's visit to be good little girls and boys. Sadly, your child often ends up in that worship service unhinged by weeks of school disruption for holiday programs, days of structure-free vacation, visits from relatives and friends, and suspense over whether wished-for presents will arrive. It's not the sort of season that really lends itself to little creatures not stirring or all being calm. So why do we set ourselves up for disappointment by expecting it? If there's one time you really need to keep your expectations realistic and merciful, it's at those special times of year like Christmas.
Read my article on "Worshiping With a Child With Special Needs", arm yourself with an emergency behavior chart, dress your child in a way that will not make fidgeting unavoidable, and be prepared to make a quick exit. You can always say some prayers or sing some carols in the car while allowing other family members to have their own silent night. Do you have strategies for getting your child through services (or a thing or two to say to those churchgoers staring judgmentally in your direction)? Share on the Readers Respond pages.