I have spoken with friends in real life, and cannot find anyone who has had a child rebel against communion the way my 4 yr old is.
She has been raised in the Byzantine Church, liturgy every Sunday, so communion is nothing new to her, but she refuses to receive communion and has not taken communion for almost three years. It started around 18 mo, she would get shy when we approached and bury her head in my shoulder. The priest would say, oh ok, not this week, but she has not done it since. I have tried:
- holding her
- going first so she can watch me receive
- having her watch her 2 yr old sister receive
- leaving her on the bench (hoping to get her to want to do what everyone else was doing)
- watching other friends receive
- talks about how exciting it is that Jesus gives us this gift
- practicing with her at home (she practiced once, then wouldn't do it again)
- ignoring it for a while so its not harped on so she doesn't try to dig in her heels
I am at my wits end. I feel like this has gone on long enough. WHen I try to get her to receive, she goes "no thank you! no thank you! I don't want it!" and then I reprimand her for being rude.
My husband wants to start punishing her-- taking away Sunday treats after church or favorite toys for not receiving. While normally I have no problem with holding privledges, I do not want church and communion to become some kind of dreaded obligation.
Is he right though? Has anyone ever had a child do this? I am getting frustrated with her and it is definitely showing through.