Stepping inside a dark confessional booth, facing one’s sins, and confessing them to the priest is scary, even for adults who’ve confessed their sins routinely for decades. 

For children, receiving the sacrament of confession is intimidating. It can be so frightening that they avoid it altogether, yet there are ways parents can make confession if not a pleasant experience, at least one that is less fearful – and even a relief as sins are unburdened. 

Catholic writer Debbie Gaudino, writing in Seton Magazine, shares tips her family uses to prepare their children for confession. Perhaps the best way, Gaudino writes, is for parents to live a life of forgiveness. 

“From the time they were very small, my husband and I have taught our children to go beyond the perfunctory apology when they have done something wrong,” Gaudino writes. “Instead, we ask each other for forgiveness, and we extend forgiveness to each other when we have committed an offense. 

Two of the other ways Gaudino and her husband attempt to make confession more pleasant are to provide opportunities for their children to practice inside the church confessional, following up with a discussion about kids’ fears and some ways to counteract them; and meeting and getting to know their parish priests outside the confessional. 

“A few days prior to his first confession, my son shyly admitted to Father after Mass one Sunday that he was really nervous about going to confession,” Gaudino writes. “Father bent towards him and reassured him gently that Jesus loved him so much and so did he. I cannot overemphasize what a difference those words made to my son.” 

Full story at OC Catholic.