I have been asked on more than one occasion how we get the children to mind so well in church. Other than noting that from a parents perspective, they aren't always angels.
But they do stay pretty quiet and we don't make too many trips "out back". It occurred to me as I was interrupted from my state of awe last Sunday. Just as Father was about to consecrate the Body of Christ, our two year old and 5 year old started squabbling and the shush was more than the tender feelings of the little one could bear. So as he was rushed out of the pew just as he drew his breath for the second wail, I turned to see what they were fighting over.
It was nothing more than a book. But there lies the rub. It wasn't our book, we tend to be minimalists in our approach to Mass time entertainment. It isn't asking too much for kids to be quiet and behave for one hour. The youngest two draw/scribble on the little papers provided for that purpose. But the family behind us offered one of them a book halfway through Mass. Which was fine until the other noticed and wanted to hold it.
Entertainment only serves to promote the need for more entertainment and then the equal distribution of said entertainment. Then there is the enforcement of the distribution, the threat of future enforcement if this one isn't followed and so forth. Pretty soon the whole Mass is spent minding the kids rather than the kids minding their manners.