sometimes the priest begins with a greeting, sometimes he expects the penitent to begin, so we teach the children to sit facing the priest (or kneel behind the screen if they prefer, their choice), and begin
Bless me Father, for I have sinned. This is my first confession
(or at later times, it has been --------- since my last confession)
My sins are . . .
state your sins by name and how many times (I disobeyed by parents 6 times) or how often (I missed Mass every week during the school vacation).
For these and for all my sins I am very very sorry.
Father may talk to you, ask for more information, give you some helpful advice to avoid doing these sins any more. He will give you a penance, which you will do as soon as possible after you leave the confessional. It may be a prayer to say, a kind action to do for someone, or a bible verse to read.
He might tell you to make a good act of contrition, but if he doesn’t say it any how. He may say the words of absolution while you are praying, or wait until you are finished. These words include the phrase "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit I absolve you from your sins . . . "
then you will thank Father and leave to do your penance.
we also practice with “fake sins” during the parent meetings, with children and parents taking turns being the Father and the Penitent, visit the confessional to ease their comfort level, and of course 3 parent candidate meetings that reinforce what they have learned in their class on morality, forgiveness, sacrament of penance and reconciliation, examination of conscience, immediate preparation for the sacrament. If your child is preparing no doubt something similar will be offered, make sure you are not shy about raising and questions you have at that time.
since it is that time of year granny has a few more words for parents. by all means help your child prepare and teach him a simple examination of conscience, but not in a way that drills him and forces him to confess all his sins to you first. the confidentiality of the sacrament must be respected, and if you come by knowledge of sins he is confessing you are bound by the same code as the priest. you also can’t force your child to confess if you “know” he has done something very wrong, but you must do everything in your power to make sure he has the opportunity to confess.
also even when received in a group context with a penance service and individual confessions, this is not a celebration that merits video tape and photos, for one thing that is forbidden in this parish, for another, it intrudes on the proper privacy for all those participating and granny will take your video camera the same way she takes cell phones and ipods away during CCD.