Loved this blog post: Your Screaming Kids Are Distracting Me
It really disturbs me when I see parents banished to the "crying room" - or even worse a self-important so-and-so telling a parent that they have to leave Mass 'cos their child is making noise. I haven't done it yet, but there's a real chance that I'm going to ask a particular nun who does this if "devil has got her tongue this morning?". (God, please give me the grace not to say it ... )
Well if a child (or a person who's disabled or suffering from dementia ... or just ordinarily confused) is making noise, and this is distracting me - then it's my problem, not theirs. I'm the one who needs to learn to focus, or to experience the message that God is presenting to me through them.
Of course that doesn't mean that children should be allowed to act up: they have a right to be gently taught how to behave in situations, and to be taught how to experience God in common worship. But for most real-world children, that teaching takes years, not days or weeks, and the rest of the community needs to accept this. And we have no right to cut them off from the community while it's still a work-in-progress.