“I am so bored.”
The kids are home and want something to do and they are pulling at your pant leg saying, “Can we do something?” Well, here are some ideas. I realize that parishes are different (as are kids) so maybe this will or will not work for you.
Determine your child’s temperament and decide how much s/he can handle. Do you need an excursion that would eat up some time, allow you to spend some quality time with your child, while at the same time doing something constructive? A well constructed trip to a parish church just might be the ticket. (Are you laughing out loud yet?)
It might be a mistake to announce, “Get dressed, we are going to daily Mass!” This could be met with an, “Awwwwww, I don’t WANT to!” Make it a project and plan an excursion. Is there somebody that you and your child know that is hitting on hard times? Is Grandma ill? Is your child’s best friend moving? Here is one plan:
Have your child think about who needs prayer. It may be someone who later you can say, “We went to church to pray for you.”
Plan a trip. It may be as simple as going to light a candle (what kid does NOT like to light candles?) or attend Mass or visit a really cool church to offer 5 minutes of prayer and look at the beautiful building, or visit the image of a favorite saint (and have a prayer ready.) Assure your child, “we are going just for 5 minutes - or just for Mass - or just for a visit - or just for benediction) and then after we will go (for ice cream - breakfast - a hike - to the park . . . )
Hopefully your parish has some fun activity for you child so that going to the parish can be seen as something fun to do rather than always being the thing that they have to leave something fun to do. Just as an example, there are all kinds of summer camps at this parish - everything from Bible Camp to Spanish Emersion Camp. There are concerts and a playground (where you could bring lunch with your child and have a picnic.) Used well, all of these things can help you make the parish someplace that the family goes, not someplace where they HAVE to go.
(And if your parish doesn't do anything, be the person who starts something!)