Most will be squirmy to sit through an entire sermon. It's ok! Their endurance will grow as they mature. Your child doesn't have to soak in every single sermon point to grow in his understanding and application of God's Word.
It's sometimes tricky to find the balance between not expecting enough out of our kids and expecting too much. But don't forget that it is a process.
One way to balance your expectations is to not compare one child to another. Each is so different in learning styles, abilities, desires, and how God may be working in his heart. Work with each child where he is at and with realistic goals specific for him.
When the discouragement comes, look through the frustration and see the deeper purpose and goal - to direct your child's heart toward Christ. This takes time.
TIP: Inform some of your "pew mates" that you are working to engage your child(ren) in the service. Ask them to compliment your child if they notice your child doing the right thing and putting forth effort. Such as:
"I saw you taking notes. I'm impessed!"
"You did an extra good job sitting quietly and listening this morning. I know it can seem like a long time to sit but you did great!"
"What kind of notes did you take today? Will you be willing to let me have a sneak peek at them?"
I remember the first time an adult complimented my son when he was still fairly "new in the pew". His eyes lit up and I saw him stand a little taller! Who knows...maybe it helped him try a little harder the next week!
So go ahead. Don't feel awkward to ask others around you to compliment your kids. Your kids need it!
If your child is already using SNFK, and you find they have lost attention or are unusually squirmy, it can be helpful to have them switch to a different note-taking activity.
What to Do with Squirmy in the Pew (Part 2)