On Sunday it was my turn to teach the children in their separate room. A young woman whom I know very well and who has been involved with the church for several years, came into the room too with her toddler.

She seldom comes to church these days because toddler, a delightful little girl, is very demanding …

… and she was. I was doing the story of Jesus in the desert, and I’d brought over some sand and some animals for the story, and some little spades and forks for the small fry to play with the sand.

That was the idea, anyway.

Except that little Toddler had quite other ideas. She wanted the spade. And that one. And that one. And all the animals. I was sharing these things out, but oh no, she wasn’t having that. She wanted it ALL. She snatched a spade from another child – which I firmly took out of her hand and gave back – then when other children got some of the animals, she screamed the place down in a rage and wouldn’t stop.

I wouldn’t give in to her, although her Mum clearly expected me to.


In the end I told her if she was quiet she could have her own spade, not someone else’s. She continued to scream. I went back to trying to talk to the other children, despite the stiff competition 8|

Eventually, when Mum realised I was going to be nasty and not give in, she took Toddler out.

Ahem …. :>>

Afterwards, Toddler’s Dad said ‘oh, we have to give her everything she wants. Otherwise she just screams.’

I’ve talked to them in the past about all children needing boundaries, and the importance of saying no and meaning it, and about being consistent. I tried again after the service on Sunday, but fear it will have as much effect as digging a hole with a chocolate spade.

They are making a rod for their own backs, unfortunately :crazy:

Any ideas, out there, as to alternative ways of handling this?



    1. I agree, Hutt. Getting down eyeball and eyeball and talking quietly with a child to explain what is expected of her, and what will happen if she does not do as she’s told, is much more effective than yelling at kids who then don’t take any notice!


    1. I personally think a smack on the legs after a warning works well with a certain age group – although I expect an outcry for saying that too. After a while children get blase anyway!


  1. What a terrible situation to find yourself in. What parents don’t realise who do not give their children clear boundaries, is that they are setting their children up to have very sad lives. Very few people will want to be around this child/adult….because if the foundation block is built solidly now, it will most likely be very wobbly for the rest of her life. Frankly, Gilly, I get very angry when I see this, but I know that doesn’t get anyone anywhere. What to do? I am not sure at all.
    Good for you for not giving in….and how sad that these parents had caused a situation that probably spoiled the whole event for everyone else concerned!x


    1. They did at least take her out! thanks for the comment, Janet. They are middle-easterners with a very different culture and it’s difficult to get over to them the importance of it. They don’t understand the concept of ‘short term gain means long-term pain’. I will probably have another go at speaking to them about it but already feel it will be a waste of time – some parents just don’t cope with their child screaming! Idiotic!!


  2. That would make me scream, I don’t know about the child. But like you say they are making a rod for their own backs but will end up unable to go anywhere. What a shame that will be for ALL concerned. Xx


    1. Thanks, Barbara. I feel sorry for the mother, who seems to feel she can go out less and less because the little one is so difficult. They are parents who are afraid of their child screaming. I’m not 😉 She is already controlling and manipulating them and she’s not even 2 years old 88|


  3. A truly dreadful experience and I’m sure shocking for the other children waiting their turn and being prepared to share. I really don’t know what to say. I dread to think what her first class at school is going to be like. I have heard of infants being excluded from school!
    Does the child go to a nursery school?


    1. Her mother did take her, but stopped – clearly because she is impossible and will not share with other children. It is quite normal for her age – the terrible twos and all that – but unless it’s handled properly now, she will grow up thinking she only has to be thoroughly unpleasant and she will be given her own way.


  4. They are obviously eaither lazy or not a strong enough character to deal with the child. The trouble is dealing with some one elses is near impossible when they are like this you can only end up in trouble.

    I was teaching in sunday school some years ago and an elderly lady brought some children she said played in the street in all weathers the mother was an achololic and the father a drug addict. I couldnt do anything with them atall they laughed hysterically at the jesus stories litterally rolling about on the floor like they were possessed.

    She kept on bringing them then one day whilst we were singing hymns there was a break in in the vestry and the collection boxes were taken and it turned out to be one of the kids parants who got nothing but a polite ticking of.

    Break ins became frequent after that, windows smashed in the church, rubbish thrown in the garden eggs thrown up the church walls,finally this pretty little church a few of us loved was boarded up and closed permanent.xx


    1. Such a shame. It must have been very disheartening for the minister and the congregation. I have sometimes had children in who haven’t got a clue what the Christian faith is all about. You need a whole different approach with them.


  5. Parents need gentle but FIRM reminding that pandering to every whim is not preparing the child for living in the ‘outside’ world…when it MUST engage there…..
    Plenty evidence around of young people coming a cropper when they have to ‘live and let live’…… xx


    1. Exactly :yes: But ‘telling’ them, and their taking it on board and doing something, are two very different things 😦

      It is quite extraordinary how many people will agree with what you say and consider ‘others’ should do it, without realising that they don’t do it themselves … 😉

      (which might include yours truly at times 😳 )


      1. If parents refuse to ‘take this on board’….I always console myself with: “I’ve told you Mates! Be the consequences on your heads!” 😉


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