Lesson Notes: Examination of Conscience

examination conscience

This lesson brings us a fun perspective on something we should all do during Lent – go to confession.  The format is a game show based on the Ten Commandments, so warm up your cheesy game show host voice, parents).  After briefly reviewing the Commandments, you’ll read some little scenarios of people misbehaving and ask your kids to:

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When I was the parent of younger kids, I always liked to look at how each of the Commandments was described to make sure I wouldn’t be introducing innocent little kids to concepts they didn’t need to know quite yet.  (I’m looking at you, Commandments #6 and #9.)  And I recommend you do the same.

At the same time, there is definitely a point where your kids will need to wrestle with the meaning of all the commandments, and in this culture, that time will most likely come when they are still Family Formation age.  Read the Soul Search Question Cards ahead of time and decide for yourself.  But please keep in mind that if you are avoiding certain topics simply because they are less comfortable to discuss (even though your child may already be exposed to them), the main message you are sending is that it’s too awkward to talk to you about some things.  And seriously, that is NOT the message you want to give your up-and-coming teens.  (Tangent over.)

The idea of this game is two-fold: to give you all a better working knowledge of the Commandments, and to help you all prepare to go to Confession.  And that’s where the other planning part of this lesson comes in.  Before you do this lesson, check your family calendar against the Sacrament of Reconciliation schedule at your parish and plan the next time you’re all going.  Going sometime within a week of doing this lesson would be ideal.

One more suggestion: If you have younger kids who are old enough to sit in a pew for 20 minutes or so (maybe ages 3-7), I highly recommend you bring them to confession even though they’re not old enough to confess.  Of course, you would not bring them into the confessional with you, but there are great benefits to be gained by having them witness the process and become more comfortable with it even at an early age.

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