Sunday, March 25, 2007

A long story with a question: what would you do?

Today I went to "Big Church" for the first time in a while. See, every week for a while, my 3 year old son didn't want to go to church. He would say that he didn't want to go and he would take his sweet time getting ready, but I didn't realize how much he really didn't want to go until one particular Sunday.

One Sunday that was pretty cold with an even colder breeze, we got to church, (just him and me) and he refused to get out of the car. He cried and fussed and he NEVER does that. The Sunday before, he didn't want me to leave him there, despite my saying that I wasn't really leaving him, but that I wanted to go to my own Sunday School class. He cried and whined that he didn't want to stay, "because they don't have any paint brushes." (?) The teacher found some pipe cleaners and paint and he painted a little bit which made him happier, but then the next Sunday came when he refused to get out. Anyway, he would never tell me why.

One weekend, he went to spend a night with his MeMe and I asked her to find out what was the matter at church and he opened up and told her about "a boy who hit him eleven times."

The next Sunday I told him that I would go to his Sunday School class with him. He was very excited and proud that I would be there with him. (I'm sure that I will cherish that memory when he gets older and doesn't want to admit he has a mother, much less in the same room with his Sunday School class.) I noticed that even though it is a large class of 3 year olds, it was very well organized. One big group game, and then breaking off into 3 small groups of about 5 children each doing different activities involving the lesson.

So, no problem.

That night, he wanted me to go to his class with him, so I did. During the coloring/bible verse reciting part of that class, I noticed a little boy swatting at him like a windmill. (It was apparently having something to do with a lollipop.) Now, if I had been the teacher and not known what I know, I wouldn't have given that a second thought. It really didn't look like it hurt or that he even made contact, but it was enough to prevent my child from wanting to come to Sunday School. I spoke to the little boy and said that we come to church to love God and each other and that hitting isn't very loving. I tried to get him to apologize, but he didn't. It just happened that the memory verse for that night was "...He said to him, Man, your sins are forgiven" Luke 5:20. (When my son said his verse, he said, "...your friends are forgiven". I thought that was appropriate.)

Anyway, I talked to the child's mother, who is in my SS class, and asked her if we could get them together sometime outside of church for a play-date. I was thinking that if they got to know each other better, maybe it would prevent that from happening later. She acted very open to the idea and said that they had been having some problems with him hitting other kids at church, but they thought they were making progress. I never heard from her, and honestly, I never made the first move.

To make an already long story a little bit shorter: while she and her family do come to SS, her child has not been back to the class on Sunday night. I have been volunteering for that class with the kids, (mostly because my son wants me there and it's kind of fun) and they do not come to church at all.

What would you do at this point?

1 comment:

Halfmoon Girl said...

I have known other moms who children have some behavioural problems, or are just in a difficult stage. It can seem to them at times that their child is always acting inappropriately and can cause them to feel shame and judgement. I have had friends who stop attending events because they are too overwhelmed to deal with their child's behaviour. It sad when they choose to not attend church and such. Inviting her over may be an encouragement to her, but obviously, you would supervise the play closely. Sounds like you handled it well.