I have a confession to make. It’s something I’ve learned about myself over the last couple of years of having children who have reached the age of reason: I’m terrible at going to Confession. Over that last two years, I have managed to prepare two of my children to receive their first Penance and First Holy Communion. I have made sure that they have attended Mass every Sunday for most of their lives, let alone since receiving these sacraments. However, I realized recently that I have basically dropped the ball in respect to helping them make frequent use of the sacrament of Confession. In my efforts to not take over their own relationship with God and tell them when they need to go to Confession, I ended up leaving them with no guidance whatsoever. Catholic parenting fail, part 1.
Realizing our failure in this area, my husband and I decided to make more of an effort to attend the sacrament more regularly. We’ve been “meaning to” for weeks and finally did this past Saturday. Unfortunately, when helping the boys prepare, I realized that they had basically forgotten the entire thing. Catholic parenting fail, part 2. I panicked for a minute, and then remembered a great little book I just received (for review) the other day. A Little Book about Confession for Children by Kendra Tierney is a delightful little book that is just as helpful to parents as it is to children. In attempting to prepare her own son for Confession, Tierney realized that there was more she needed to know to be able to answer his many, many questions, and realized that there were probably other parents in the same predicament. And thank God she did. This “little book” is big on helpful information and solid theology and doctrine. (On this note, I do wish they had sought an Imprimatur, because from what I’ve seen it could easily have gotten one and set parents’ minds at ease, but I digress.)
On Saturday, I grabbed the book and used it for its examination of conscience that is geared specifically towards children and its quick review of the form of the sacrament. Throughout the week, we’ve been going back to it again and again to answer questions such as “How can I be sorry for my sins?” and “How can I make up my mind not to sin again?”, questions that can be difficult to answer clearly and concisely without a little help. In the future, I plan on using this book to help my next son prepare to receive his first Penance. The book makes a parent’s job as primary educator a little bit easier, and as a parent to six, I’ll take all the help I can get.
A Little Book About Confession for Children
Author: Kendra Tierney
Illustrator: Maria Ashton
Publisher: Ignatius Press / Magnificat
63 pages, full color
Kendra Tierney writes about living a Catholic life on her blog, Catholic All Year.