If you feed kids lots of cough mixture, they have a better chance of sitting quietly in church.
When our two oldest kids were young, and we traveled back and forth between the US & England...cough syrup! Dimetapp & plenty of it. Too long an airplane flight to put up with screaming kids. Or fidgeting ones for the entire flight. Not sure it would work during a Kid's Christmas Pageant though:
"Oh look, the shepherds fell asleep in the manger with Baby Jesus!"
"Yeah? Well at least they didn't choke Baby Jesus and then pull on his head and feet fighting over him!"
In a small church, though, everyone gets to take turns watching the kids during 'children's church', so everyone knows the kids. The ones who are harder to handle, well, everyone knows. Everyone has tried. So mothers get some sympathy instead of condemnation.
Last night was supposed to be severe clear & cold. Instead, it was solid overcast and we got another 4 inches of snow. I decided I needed a cup of coffee before putting on my clothes - no birthday suits this time of year around here, @SueC
- and trying to feed the horses. I looked out. Trooper and Cowboy seemed to be asleep. Bandit, of course, immediately noticed the light in the house. "Bob, coming to feed us? Or SPACE ALIENS?
Bandit being Bandit, he watched intently, waiting to find out. Yesterday, after I got them their morning pellets to try to warm them up, Bandit became concerned about - something? - to the north. After a cold, wet night, he abandoned his food and spent at least 30 minutes staring intently to the north. The other horses may have eaten some of his pellets before he decided it was safe enough to eat. Oh well. I cannot control that.
But a horse who abandons his favorite food on a cold morning after a cold & wet night to stare for 30-40 minutes, watching, for...space aliens?...is obviously by nature a more alert, more cautious, more concerned horse than what most people seem to experience. He isn't cautious because I don't act confident enough, or because I'm not the Bold Leader! And BTW, horses have no respect for Bold Leaders! To a horse, Bold Leader = Stupid Fool!
And to a horse like Bandit? It might be possible to whip him past something if you can ride out the fight, but that will NOT make Bandit respect you!
Like the kids in church, or in one's family, you have to deal with each kid based on who THEY are. You cannot expect them all to conform to MIGHTY PARENT. Like @Knave
, you can accept a horse for who the horse is and give him chances to learn & grow. Or you can insist on unquestioning obedience. Someone who rides Bandit can either fight him a lot, or get used to a horse who keeps an open nose, open ears and open eyes, staying alert to potential threats. That is who he is. 24/7/365. Including when cold, wet & hungry. If you accept it, he will show you things in the natural world that we humans often miss. If you don't, you can never experience unity with Bandit.