Whole Parenting Family

for my Catholic parent friends: a great book on confession {rev’d & giveaway’d}

a little book about confession for children

A wonderful electronic friend of mine (one of my sisters says that’s a weird way to introduce people on my blog–but it’s TRUE!), Kendra from Catholic All Year, wrote a book. And not just any old Catholic book (as if there is a serious category for “any such x-religion book). It’s a little guide to confession for kids and parents before the Big Day.

If you’re still following with this conversation and you’re not Catholic, I’ll give you the quick version: Catholics (and other Christians) believe that people were born with something called “original sin” on their souls, their spiritual life within. After baptism, that’s wiped off by the Godparents & parents making promises and declarations on the baby’s behalf. But subsequently, because we are human, we build up spiritual dirt on that soul by choosing to do things, say things, etc that separate us from an all-loving God. Specifically, we break some or all of the Big Ten (commandments).

By going to a priest to say confession and ask for forgiveness of those sins, we get grace infused in our hearts by God (grace is His life within us), and our soul is wiped off again. Now you’re thinking, why do you have to say your offenses out loud? Can’t you just apologize in your head to a loving God? Won’t he or she forgive you? Sure. But consider the psychological piece of this. If you don’t have to verbally articulate what you did, when you did it, and be specific, are you really facing your own actions? The only way out of the humiliation of them is through. Face what you did; move on. This is true in many aspects of our complicated human lives.

The priest acts in the place of Christ (God’s son, the redeemer) and forgives your sins, your choices that separated you from God. He will give you an assignment, a penance, to do or say. Usually it’s a prayer, sometimes it’s an act (like, apologize or fess up). We start going to confession as Catholics from the time we’re about 7–right before our first Holy Communion (receiving the bread that we believe is God’s body) just to clean up that soul before that big event.

Guess what? I’m not a theologian. So if any of that is wrong, I’m sorry. Yikes! Pressure’s on. That’s why Kendra wrote a book and not me.

little book of confession

All this to say, whew, long winded: Kendra’s book, A Little Book About Confession for Children, published by Ignatius Press, is wonderful. She’s a mom of many and clearly you can tell she knows how to respectfully explain complex subjects to children. It’s not dumbed down; it’s not overly simplified. She takes the child step-by-step through the actual process of what happens in confession.

Beyond the rubrics, she actually answers about every question a child could have about it. Citing to both Scripture and the Catechism, her versions of the stories are understandable and accessible to a child without sounding like she’s trying. She speaks kid. And her examination of conscience at the end is BANG. Right on. She provides a meditation on each of the 10 commandments, complete with questions the child should ask themselves relating to that commandment.

Our son is only four. But when it’s the exciting time for him to go to confession for the first time, Kendra’s book is what we’ll use to prepare him. I learned more about confession reading it. I remember practicing for my first confession. I think we spent most of the time giggling over the made-up sins we were using for practice. My fav? I hit an old lady with an umbrella and stole her purse. Really? Really, seven year old Nell was horrid. This guide will probably inspire our kids a titch more.

AND because Ignatius Press is so generous, as is Kendra, I have a copy for you. Would you like it? Enter the Rafflecopter. Giveaway central over here. US & Canada readers only. Sorry #internationalfriendsacrosstheocean

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: Ignatius Press sent me a review copy of A Little Book about Confession for Children and a copy to give away. My views are mine and mine alone. 


  1. Karen on August 11, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    I love Kendra’s post about parenting and always meaning what you say, as well as her post about disciplining young toddlers. Thanks for this opportunity to win her book!

  2. Amanda on August 11, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    Her stuff about parenting with authority is the best.

  3. Jana on August 11, 2014 at 2:18 pm

    I love this. I hope I can win.

  4. Jana on August 11, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    I like her one on NFP. We sort of used NFP but it wasn’t for us so we tossed it and just accept any baby that comes to us.

  5. Adrienne on August 12, 2014 at 7:04 am

    I just found Kendra’s blog and love it! I am also a Catholic homeschool mom and can really connect to her. This book looks wonderful!

  6. Laura D on August 12, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    I would love to win a copy of this book! I’ve been eyeing for awhile and my oldest will be receiving his First Communion in May!

  7. Celeste on August 15, 2014 at 10:00 am

    I love the post the church lady that yelled at her about her noisy boy. I can relate. Although I’ve never been yelled at, I can guarantee we’ve gotten the stink-eye from more than a few old ladies who were less than thrilled to see my walking in with my little guy. He’s on the Autism Spectrum. You can’t exactly walk up to someone and explain that during Mass, so instead I stay in that pew quietly trying to calm my little guy and focusing my gaze as much as I can on the Crucifix in front of me over the Tabernacle because that’s who I’m there for in the first place. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel that prickly stare though! Oh yes, I can relate. Motherhood is a humbling experience, for certain.

  8. Amy @ Motherhood and Miscellany on August 15, 2014 at 3:37 pm

    My favorite recent post was “Dear Newlywed, You’re Probably Worried About the Wrong Thing.” It made me cry, but it was really wonderfully written and true 🙂