It's not easy being a mother, and Anna Duggar, wife of eldest Duggar son Josh of "19 Kids and Counting," can certainly attest to that.
One of the challenges the Christian mother faces is how to get her children to behave during church service. Fortunately, she has learned a few tricks from her mother-in-law Michelle, which she uses to train Mackynzie, Michael, and Marcus, and would soon use on baby Meredith.
"I don't expect my babies to be quiet and still during church. When my kids are between two and three, that is when I want them to start being quiet during church, although that may mean they are colouring pictures the whole time," she revealed in the Duggar Family Blog.
Michelle has taught her to practice getting her children to sit still and be quiet while at home in order to get them ready for church. They start practicing the children when they turn two years old.
"Start by having the child in a chair and you in a chair. I start off with about 10 seconds and will hold my fingers up and count to 10. When the time is up, I clap and cheer and sometimes give the child a reward. You can increase the time span with each session," Anna shared.
She still practices "quiet and sit still time" with Mackynzie and Michael, who are five and four years old respectively, every once in a while. Just to be sure, she always has a Bible story colouring book or a notebook and pen handy while in church so they have something to keep their hands busy.
"It's amazing what kids can pick up while they are colouring a picture," she said. "Their ears are still working, even though their hands are busy. In fact, if you keep their hands busy, they often learn more than they otherwise would. But at the end of the day, they are just children, and they aren't going to be perfect, but it's important to praise them when they do well."
Incidentally, Josh and Anna Duggar with their three kids and new daughter Meredith Grace have reportedly moved from their current home in Washington D.C. back to Arkansas following the child molestation scandal that rocked their family.