With extracurricular activities bombarding families these days, the dilemma that so many face is making church attendance a priority for the family. Weekends are jam packed with sports, dance recitals and the list goes on.

John Bartkowski, a Mississippi State University sociologist and his colleagues recently conducted a study to look at the effects of religion on child development.  They asked the parents and teachers of more than 16,000 kids to rate how much self control they believed the kids had, how often they exhibited poor or unhappy behavior and how well they respected and worked with their peers.

The researchers compared these scores to how frequently the children’s parents said they attended worship services and talked about religion with their child. Here were their conclusions:

  • Kids whose parents took them to church on a regular basis were better behaved and adjusted than other children.
  • Kids whose parents frequently attended church were rated by both parents and teachers as having better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than kids who did not attend church.
  • Parents who were involved in religious networks gained social support, which improved their parenting skills.
  • Regular involvement in church inspired families with sacred meaning and significance.

As parents, if we knew we could significantly improve the chances of our child’s success by taking them to church regularly, wouldn’t it be worth making it a priority?

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