Senior lecturer in Education, Dr Margaret Anne Carter, speaking to participants during the Jan 4 workshop. photo : Catherine OngSenior lecturer in Education, Dr Margaret Anne Carter, speaking to participants during the Jan 4 workshop. photo : Catherine Ong
Who deserves your respect when you are in Mass? Why do we need to listen in the Mass?

These were some of the questions that Dr Margaret Anne Carter, a senior lecturer in Education at James Cook University, Australia, asked catechists during a two-hour workshop held at the Church of St Ignatius.

The Jan 4 workshop called Children’s Behaviour and Reverence was organised by the Archdiocesan Commission for Catholic Schools.

It aimed to equip catechists and parents with various ways to teach young children aged between five and 12, the appropriate social behaviour during Mass.

Apart from these questions, Dr Carter suggested role play in order to get children to answer questions such as, how are you going to stay calm during Mass, and what can you do instead of fidgeting.

The senior lecturer also gave some advice on how the parish  can help children behave better.

One way is to include tips in parish newsletters or on PowerPoint slides flashed during Mass on what parents can do when their children get restless during the celebration. A booklet for children could also help them  follow what is going on during Mass.

She added that priests can also do their part by reminding and thanking everyone in the congregation, including children, when they behave appropriately.

Another suggestion by Dr Carter was to have designated areas for families with young children to go to when the kids get restless during Mass.

Participants at the workshop gave positive comments.

Ms Cecilia Teo from the Church of St Ignatius said the workshop gave her a greater insight on how to help a young child behave better during Mass.

Another participant from the Church of the Holy Spirit said he learnt how to help young children by listening and talking to them in simple terms.

By Merilyn Dasson

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