I make it a point to thank each kiddo for coming to Meeting for Worship with Chaz and I every Sunday. I point out individual moments of joy and proud moments I observed as they interacted with Friends.

I can't say that we wouldn't "make" them come if we felt they were skipping it too regularly BUT I do think it gives them ownership of their own responsibility to participate. Tonight when I thanked W for coming today I added that even though it might not be the most fun time ever for him, it meant a lot to me that he came. He smiled and responded "I think it is important to me to go and participate."

Love when that happens. He is growing up so very fast now. I am thankful at least some of what we have tried to teach him is sticking.

"Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

What do other Quaker parents do to keep kiddos involved in Meeting and Quaker life? What do members of your Meetings do to make kids feel like they belong to a greater body than themselves? Do you do things at home to grow Quaker minds and hearts or do you leave that to Meeting days?

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There is a great book I got while I was expecting my toddler called Seamless Faith (the new edition is called Faithful Families). It has lots of great suggestions for family friendly (toddlers, teenagers, intergenerational) spiritual practices. Some can be done daily, weekly or monthly; some are tied to the liturgical calendar or the seasons; some are tied to life events, like the death of a pet or a school graduation; some are spiritual disciplines to be practiced regularly. My little guy is still too young for most of the practices, but I have incorporated a bedtime blessing since he moved into his own room. It feels good and right to ask God's favor and protection on my child. In addition, about half of his books right now have religious content, so hopefully something is sinking in.

Regarding meeting, I try to keep my son in meeting for worship as long as possible. He does remarkably well considering he is 16 months old. I love it when members of the Meeting make positive comments about his presence, as I do get anxious that his occasional babbling is disruptive. One thing that I am trying to do more of is really get to know the young teenagers in the meeting on a one-on-one level. I love that age group and I feel like we as a Meeting (and I in particular) should be doing more to midwife their spiritual development as they grow into young adulthood.

Thanks! Great ideas!

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