Saturday, March 22, 2008

Daddy, I hate church

Henry, my seven year old, is getting increasingly vocal in his opposition to attending church. I have ignored this for the most part but am growing weary of the battle. Over the past few months I have let him stay home 3 or 4 times as a bit of an experiment. Last week, he strongly agitated to stay home but because my wife was not going to be home (she has not attended church regularly since she was a teen) I made him go. He was pretty upset and when we got there he chose not to get out the car. So I let him stay there while the girls and I went in. I thought he would calm down and join us in a few minutes. After about a half an hour I figured he wasn’t coming so I went out and got him. He still didn’t want to come in but I told him he had to and he reluctantly followed me in.

The funny thing is I think he sort of enjoys church even though he says he doesn’t. He is generally in a good mood after he attends. It’s just the getting there part that is a nightmare.

So I am not sure what to do. As I said, I have allowed him to stay home a few times lately so as not cause him to resent me for forcing him to go. But the result seems to be that he is just getting used to staying home. I want him to feel like going to church is his choice but perhaps he is too young to make that decision. Ideas?