5 Tips for Helping Children Focus in Online Worship

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The pandemic has affected people in many ways, and religious worship is no exception. Research shows that a third of US adults have watched a religious service online. Ninety-one percent of them claimed to be “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the service, while eight percent lacked satisfaction. This shows that although people are able to adapt to the new normal, it can still be difficult for others. 
 
If adults struggle with it, how much more would children be affected? Having to watch a pastor preaching their sermon on screen can make it difficult for them to understand and stay focused. There is also a lack of interaction and an array of distractions that can detract them from being able to pay full attention. 
 
Here are some things you can do to help them focus better during worship: 
 

Engage Them During Worship 

 Part of why children may not feel the need to listen is because they do not feel like they are part of the worship. Engaging them during worship will make them feel like they belong and will encourage them to actively participate. Speaking to them during the service will bring a sense of welcome. Worship bulletins and scripture-related activities can be a fun way to get your children invested in the Word. This can come in the form of puzzles or stories based on the theme of the scripture. 
  

Minimize Distractions 

 Children can lose interest when there are other things around them to keep them occupied. When participating in worship, try to be in a space that is clean and organized so they can focus on the service. Make sure there are no toys they can play with and that devices are kept away. Don’t allow them to multitask as this can affect their focus. Divided attention will prevent them from fully understanding the sermon and the Word. Limiting possible distractions will encourage them to pay more attention to the scripture than to anything else. 
  

Mother and daughter worshipping online
Image credit: Pexels.com, Andrea Piacquadio

Lead by Example 

If you are attending online worship, it is important to treat it like any other service. Make sure that you are participating wholeheartedly. If your child sees you doing otherwise, they might believe it is okay for them to follow your cue. Children learn through mirroring the adults in their life so it is important to be an example for them. When attending service online, participate in it like it is any other service and your children will follow suit. 
  

Get Professional Advice 

 Trying to get your child to focus on worship can be difficult and it might feel as though nothing is working. But parents don’t have to do everything alone; you can talk to professionals who have more knowledge and training for advice. You can consult with someone who has a degree in higher education leadership because, with their understanding of the student experience, they have plenty of insights to share on managing children. They can assess the situation and give tips tailored to your situation, like encouraging your child to take notes during sermons or activities during the service. You can also talk to Sunday school teachers because they may have methods for getting children to participate in service and fully enjoy understanding the Word. 
  

Family worshipping online with their child
Image source: Pexels.com, Kampus Productions

Make It a Family Routine 

 Create a habit of attending service as a family. Routines are important for children. This gives them a sense of comfort and lets them understand the importance of what they are doing. Setting aside time for worship will help predispose them to a proper mindset before participating in the service. Making it a time for your family to bond will also give them a sense of community and belongingness, which may encourage them to participate in the service more. 
 
Distractions can hinder children from fully appreciating the Scriptures. Using these tips, you can help them pay better attention and gain a deeper understanding of the Word. This can help strengthen their relationship with God in the future. 

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This guest post was written by: Ria Joseph

Ria Joseph is a part-time writer and full-time mother of three. On weekends, she spends her time spreading the Word of God and helping those in need around her community.