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Parenting Advice: 5 Benefits of Bringing Your Children to Church

How often does your family attend church? Every week? Only on Christmas and Easter? Somewhere in between?

Raising children is no easy task, and it’s hard to get the whole family up and out the door on Sunday mornings. But research overwhelmingly shows that if you’re raising moral children and well-adjusted children, church attendance might be your biggest ally.

Let’s take a look at what scientists all over the country are saying.

1. Children who attend worship services perform better in school and stay in school longer.

According to the National Longitudinal Survey of Youththe more often children attend worship services, the higher their grade point averages tend to be.

Source: marripedia.org

And that’s not all:

  • More than a quarter of students who attend church at least weekly get mostly A’s in school.
  • Only 18 percent of occasional attendees get mostly A’s.
  • High school students who attend services weekly have the highest combined GPA in English and math.
Source: marripedia.org
Source: marripedia.org

Students even complete more advanced education if they make religion a habit.

87 percent of students who attend church weekly receive high school diplomas.  32 percent go on to finish college. And like grades, school completion rates drop as attendance becomes less frequent. Less than half of non-attendees complete college, and less than three-quarters complete high school.

Source: marripedia.org
Source: marripedia.org

If you want your children to do well in school, skip the Sunday morning homework session and head to church. There’ll be time for worksheets later.

2. Children who attend worship have fewer behavioral problems in school.

Dealing with a problem child? Taking your children to church can result in less frequent calls from the school, at least for those calls related to behavioral problems. The National Survey of Children’s Health found that the more families attend church, the less often their children’s schools need to speak to the parents about behavioral problems.

Specifically, more than 40 percent of children who never attend religious services get behavior-related calls to home. Less than 25 percent of at-least-weekly attendees get the same kinds of calls.

Source: marripedia.org

Scientists at Mississippi State University agreed. There, a group of sociologists interviewed 16,00 kids, primarily first-graders, and the children’s parents and teachers. They found that when both of a child’s parents attend services and talk about religion with their children, those children show better social skills, self-control, and attitudes toward learning.

The takeaway? Disciplining children is easier if you draw on your faith to guide them.

3. Religious communities strengthen the family.

It really does take a village to raise a child.

It’s easy for many kids to dismiss the lessons that their parents try to teach them. But when they hear the same message from other trusted adults – pastors and fellow church community members – children may internalize their parents’ lessons more readily.

Additionally, fellow churchgoers tend to offer parenting advice that is in line with what the family believes. This advice is generally infused with godly values like serving others and nurturing children. When you hear these kinds of messages as a parent, it encourages you to be as patient, gentle, and kind as possible.

4. Religious practice in childhood leads to positive behavior in adulthood.

When Harvard researchers looked at surveys of children followed from their early teens to early adulthood, they found that young people who attend church grow into happier, more well-adjusted adults.

Eighteen percent happier, to be exact. They were also 30 percent more likely to volunteer in their communities and 33 percent less likely to do drugs.

5. A praying child becomes a well-adjusted adult.

Part of raising godly children is helping them want to pray on their own. And if you achieve that as a parent, the mental and behavioral benefits of faith can last well into your child’s adulthood.

According to that same Harvard study, teens who prayed or meditated voluntarily were more emotionally stable and more forgiving of others once they reached their 20’s. They also reported being more satisfied with their lives and were less likely to have engaged in risky sexual behaviors.

The Takeaway

When you’re raising children, you get a lot of parenting advice and a lot of outside influences on your children. When you add regular church attendance to your family’s life, you introduce a consistent positive influence that will benefit your children for many years to come.

Isn’t that worth an early Sunday morning?