Dos & Dont’s when taking a stroller to a ‘Religious’ building, such as church, synagogue, temple.
Want to know if a particular religious place (synagogue, church) is declining or thriving, simply count the number of strollers.
The more strollers parked outside the sacred building, the brighter that synagogue’s future will be. In other words, every stroller carries not just a person, but also the hopes and dreams of the entire congregation.
While communities should welcome strollers and the newest members who ride in them, worship places should consider establishing some simple stroller-related guidelines – sensible rules to govern the pushing of the pampered.
Here’s how to make the strollers at places of worship, which is usually filled with congestion, more manageable?
- For starters, do not park your stroller directly in front of the synagogue’s entrance. When strollers block the doors, it creates an evacuation hazard. For example, if the synagogue announces at the end of the service that the kiddush is “sponsored by the shul” (which means the kiddush likely will be incredibly underwhelming), there will be a massive stampede exiting the building that will destroy anything in its path. So, if your stroller is part of a baby blockade near the doorway, kiss it goodbye. (For this reason, do not leave your kids sleeping in their strollers or wrap them in sufficient and breathable bubble wrap.)
- When it comes to purchasing a stroller, do not succumb to peer pressure. In other words, do not purchase the exact same stroller as your friends. When everyone buys the identical make and model, it only exacerbates the post-synagogue chaos. (Of course, if your child is acting like a total kvetch, you may secretly be hoping that someone mistakenly takes home your stroller and its cantankerous contents.)
- When buying a stroller, think outside the box and go with something unique, even if it means you will be socially shunned. But do not go overboard just to prove a point. Do not pack your infant in a rolling suitcase. Do not cart your kid around in a wheelbarrow. Do not strap your child to a skateboard. Do not force your newborn to rollerblade. These are extreme and ill-advised alternatives so stick with a parentally and rabbinically approved stroller and stay within your wheelhouse, so to speak.
- Can we all agree that when a child reaches a certain age, it is no longer appropriate for that child to ride in a stroller? For example, if your child can scale Masada, needs a shave or has a driver’s license, then enough with the stroller. I actually believe that if some overly-protective parents had their druthers, they would continue stroller-ing their kids at least up to the child’s bar or bat mitzvah. This can be incredibly humiliating and debilitating the child and some studies show that children who are overly-strollered are ten times more likely to become a serial killer and twenty times more likely to act like a total nudnik.
Bottom line: Always remove your child before folding your stroller.