Children in the confessional


Question for all of you on here. At what age do you stop taking your children in the confessional with you?

It’s not that my 3 year old couldn’t be out by himself while i’m in the confessional, it’s that I don’t want to leave him alone. It’s not even so much the danger of him getting lost/taken as the more probably danger of him deciding to play with lighted candles or other liturgical items (the confessional is in the front of the church only 20 feet from the altar), or even running about while others are trying to pray. Even though he is well disciplined, I know that 3 year olds can be 3 year olds and throw caution to the wind at times…

Also of concern is that he’s old enough to hear and talk. While he has not yet repeated any of my sins, there is always that possibility (not that I would hold it against him, but I might be mighty embarassed).

Oh, and there are times when I have to go to confession when I have no choice but to take the boys with me (and i’m not putting off a confession when I need to go).

Just curious what some of you other parents have done?



I stop taking them with me once they are old enough to “spill the beans.” :smiley: My daughter, who is three, is too old. She’d chatter nonstop - “Mommy, tell Daddy about what you told that priest in that box.” “Mommy, tell Papa what the priest told you to do.” :slight_smile:

If need be, I take my first son (1.5) with me, but I don’t like to. He’s very distracting and I find myself worrying more about him doing this/that that I can’t concentrate well.

I do take the baby in with me.


You could ask the priest to confess you in the pews so you can be within eyesight but out of earshot of the children. You could pair up with another mom or dad and take turns watching the kids while the other confesses. Or you could bring a portable CD player and put it on the three-year-old. :stuck_out_tongue:


It is strange for me to read this. I have never seen or heard of anyone take their child with them to the confessional. Could you go to your priest to the parish office to confess you? There you can amuse your child with something while you confess.
Or, can you leave your child with your husband/sister/friend/neighbour when you go to confession?


Our son just turned 4 in September and he has always accompanied me when i have gone to confession. Even in my own parish, i would never leave him unattended or with strangers - even if they are parishioners in my parish. My husband works Saturdays so i really have no choice but to bring him with me, and i want him to learn to appreciate the gift we have been given.

I was molested as a child by a family member, so i will not leave my precious son by himself, under no circumstances.

My son hears me being sorry for my sins, crying alot of the time, and he knows that i can talk to my Priest and i come out feeling better… He knows i must pray after i go into the little room with Father, and he has respect for the confessional and our Church.

I do not know when i will stop taking him in with me, when he starts to attend kindergarten maybe??? Preschool starts next year and he attends playgroup at our parish and so far has never mentioned anything about our time in the confessional with Father.

It is ‘our’ thing, and hopefully he will respect the Sacrament of Confession, and realise just how precious it is to us and our faith.

I have no regrets, each to their own… :slight_smile:


Boy, I’d leave 'em with a sitter for a little while.


What if you don’t have a sitter? You can’t leave them in the car or in the church alone if they are so young… Well i wouldn’t anyway…

Sometimes you don’t have a choice… :shrug:

I can’t imagine saying that i couldn’t attend confession because i have my son with me… It is bring him or don’t go… I prefer to bring him and have reconciliation with God.

Our son takes a toy and a book in, sits on the floor and is occupied and doesn’t really listen to what i say…If he does, he never repeats anything to me, my husband or anyone, not does he ever ask questions about what i have said to Father.

As i said before - each to their own. :slight_smile:


I have never done this. I think I would look for a parish that has more times for Reconciliation. We have a parish not far from here that has daily Reconciliation.


Unfortunately we live out of the city and i really don’t have much choice. I drive into the city to my parish and we only have confession on Saturdays and sometimes my husband is not home from work in time for me to attend the later confession.

I have left my son at home if my husband has had the day off, but i really don’t have much choice.

Wow… I am getting a guilt trip… I will talk to my priest, but i have in the past and he has never had a problem with it… :shrug:


If your priest doesn’t have a problem with it, and you don’t have a problem with it, sounds like you are good to go.

Personally, I would find my kids with me, at any age, to be a big distraction during Reconciliation. I tend to be a bundle of nerves at that time, and I like to go face to face, so I could see where at some point I would read a thread on this forum started by one of my priests about horrible Reconciliation experiences.


We unfortunately only have one child, but I am blessed with a son who understands alot for his age, and is well behaved so i haven’t had many problems with him distracting me. If i had 2 or more children then i don’t think they would be coming into confession with me.

I found it very beneficial to put his Batman outfit on too. :smiley: And everyone at the parish seems to find humour in it. No negatives yet!

I like face to face confession too, my parish doesn’t do it - but my mum’s does. :slight_smile:

God’s peace to you.


I take mine with me until they are too verbal/observant, usually at 3. I am able to go more frequently when I take my youngest, otherwise I can only make it every few months.

As far as the confession, as long as I have taken the time to prepare well, even if the youngest does wiggle, I can spit out my sins, and receive the sacrament. If I forget 1 because of distraction, it is still forgiven. :slight_smile:


An option you can try is to have a friend meet you at Confession. I’ve done this in the past. We meet and take turns watching each other’s children. It’s good too because it encourages to go to Confession–something I tend to put off .:o


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