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Davenning with Children

One of the old age questions that parents have is: Should I bring my kids to shul? At what age? And if so, what should my expectations be insofar as their participation and actual presence inside? (Verses playing outside)

The source for bringing children to shul, is a Tosfot on the Gemarah in Moed Katan regarding the fact that there is an obligation to bring all children, even the babies to the Beit Hamikdash for the Mitzvah of Hakheil. So too it would seem one should bring their children, even the babies to shul.

However that might be good for a baby to get the atmosphere, but a child whom is not lying in a crib and cannot sit down and appreciate the spirituality, says Rav Volbe zt"l that it is preferably not to bring them to shul, if all they are going to do is play inside and outside.

But the problem is not so much the interference to others as the image and perspective the child gets of a Beit Knesset which he can carry through his life. If the image he carries is one of awe and respect, than there is a chance when he is older that he will treat the shul with the same respect.

To summarize: it is preferable to bring them older verses younger, when they are at a stage that they can truly appreciate what a shul is.

May Hashem accept all our Tefilot, and the Tefilot of all of Am Yisrael

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