Why I'm going to let my kids run around in shul

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    re: the food on Yom kippur, as I was the one who was making cold cut sandwiches for the kids during the break

    no small thing, seriously, the aroma alone!

    i envy your portion in Olam Ha Bah from that nissoin


    i daven in a shul in yerushalayim where there are many children watching the leining, davening, answering amen yehai shemey rabba…one of those children is my five year old bayis brother (i’m a bas bayis at his family). there are also girls who come to shul – there are three sisters who sit in the row next to me between the ages of like seven and ten. they sit (or stand) quietly and daven.

    there’s something these parents are doing right and i’m not sure what it is. these children are not only quiet during shul, they participate in the services!

    (i’ve been with the shul for a pretty long time by now and the ONLY time i’ve been disturbed by a child was when a mother brought a three year old (for heaven’s sake!) with her to r”H mussaf and the kid was jumping off the seat and making the floor shake. but he wasn’t even talking or screaming or anything!)

    my own idea is when the children see the father or mother excited and happy to go to shul and are told before what the rules are (like mamashtakeh said), and see how the parents act and how they consider shul, they’re much more likely to act like the children in my shul.


    I went to shul for the tekios and then went outside to watch my children so they do not disturb others who are davening. I came in every so often for parts of ‘hoiche shmoine esre’. as long as I have small children my job is to watch them. and not allow them to disturb others. Shul is not a playground and fathers are not meant to babysit children in shul while the mother sleeps (unles there is a necessity- which does happen at times)

    A gitt gebentchd yur to all!!


    Popa Bar Abba.

    I usually agree with you, but in this case, I can’t.

    A shul is for davening – not for playing. If a kid can’t daven, that is fine, leave him home until he is ready.

    Dr Pepper’s idea is something to consider, though not really ideal.


    For a child, learning how to daven properly is the easy part. Teaching them proper derek eretz is the more challenging piece, and therefore is the item that should be focused on.

    So bringing them to shul to learn when to say “amen” is simply unnecessary. If they can sit quietly and respectfully, by all means bring them. If they cannot, bu all meand DO NOT bring them. There’s plenty of time for them to learn.


    one thing is for sure, if you do decide to bring your children with you to shul, they should be next to you always. just this past rosh hashanah I saw little kids (not older than 5) running into the street (not the curb- like smack in the middle of the street) with other children encouraging them on (I dare you…..)


    “Very frequently, in the shul I lain in, kids will pull up a chair to the bimah and watch me lain from the opposite side. There is one kid (a Down’s Syndrome sufferer) who makes sure to always watch me lain when he can. “

    What about putting a yirah of a makom kedusha and something as kodesh as laining in kids? If you let them think its a game theyll loose all respect for the laining and shul.


    i don’t know the answer but the shul my husband used to daven in is very serious about not talking and kids being quiet. There is no area for the kids to be kids. My son absolutely refuses to daven there and my husband had to change shuls in order to get my son to go with him now that he needs to go shul. I think shuls need to find a way for the kids to learn to enjoy being in shul even if it sacrifices some of the seriousness of the feeling. Boys need to want to go to shul as this is an integral part of their futures.


    I went to shul regularly starting at six. Did I understand everything going on around me? No, but I could see how important it was to my Zayde, and I did take an interest in what was going on, and being discussed. I didn’t run around, yell, or throw temper tantrums because I knew that this would not be tolerated. I was taught the shul was not just someone’s living room but a sanctuary of special holiness. Before passing from the men’s cloakroom to the shul itself, I would say the “How goodly are your tents, O Yisrael…” that generations of Jews have said upon entering a shul.

    I do have sympathy for people who have really bad memories of going to shul as kids, and want something better for their children. Many shuls have a children’s service in the basement or social hall of the shul. These seem to be fairly abbreviated, and kids aren’t there from the beginning to the end of davening. I also don’t know whether kids find this to be more than a temporary diversion or if there is a long lasting value.

    I am bugged by parents allowing kids, sometimes as old as ten, to start eating the Kiddush before the adults have even had time to wash for bread. Some of the parents will be eating with their kids, not having washed for bread themselves. This is really bad Chinuch.


    Thanks for bumping my thread. It really is an important message for everyone.

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