Taking my daughter with me into the confessional

I am curious about something. I currently take my 5-year-old daughter into the confessional with me for a few reasons:

  1. Usually I don’t have anyone to watch her and I don’t want to be in a closed room an not see her. So it makes me feel secure and comfortable when confessing.

  2. I think it’s probably good that she sees that mommy isn’t flawless and that I answer to and seek forgiveness from God

  3. It teaches her about sin, forgiveness and penance.

At what point should I stop taking her in the confessional with me (or should I not being doing this at all). I know my priest knows I do it (or at least he knows the person on the other side of the screen has a child with her because he can hear her and has mentioned hearing her. But he’s never told me not to take her again (she sits quietly and listens, but you can still her her move, cough sometimes, etc).

Thanks :slight_smile:

At five years old a child is quite capable of innocently revealing things to others. Ask anyone who has taught nursery school or kindergarten and has found out things about their students families that no one should know. Why not go to confession with another mother and take turns watching each others kids.

5 is too old to be going in the confessional with Mommy. Time to make other arrangements. She will learn numbers 2 and 3 if you tell her you are going and when she sees you and waits outside later on. I totally understand why you don’t want to leaver her alone in the church. Look over your other options. Perhaps get a sitter and make an appointment for confession. Have a family Member or trusted friend watch her for a half hour on confession day. Does she go to school? Take a class? Make an appointment then.

if she can hear and understand what you are saying she is already to old. How are you going to teach her, in a couple of years, that confession is completely confidential?

get a babysitter or bring someone along with you, as you would for a doctor appointment or any other similar setting where you must be alone with the professional.

If you go on Saturday, there should be people in the Church praying - get to know one of the families so she can pray with them while you pop into the box.

If you go during the week, ask if someone in the office will keep an eye on her for a sec.

If this really is a serious problem, maybe you can take your daughter into the confessional, but cover her ears so she cannot hear you. At five years old, children often innocently repeat things they hear that they shouldn’t repeat.

Perhaps it is good that she sees that, but not in this way.

These are good things for her to learn, but not in this way.

Thank you all for answering my question.

To clarify one important thing, the priest never told me he hears other children in the confessional… he mentions he can hear my daughter moving around, etc. Sorry if I was unclear.

It seems my feelings are right, I should find another alternative. During Lent it will be easier to get to confession with more options. So I have some time to make more arrangements.

By the way, I never really worried about her hearing my sins. Most of them she knew about anyway just from living with me and aren’t anything any other child wouldn’t see or know (I am a pretty boring person–lol) I also think part of my “problem” is I’ve never felt I needed to be confidential about confession (when I was a child I always opted for sitting face to face with the priest instead of using the screen… I don’t have that option now).

Anyway, thanks again. I need to think of some alternative (even if it ends up having to be an appointment for confession… which I don’t want to do, but it’s an option).

Get a babysitter.

:shrug: You’re the parent. I think it’s your decision, your place to explain the significance of confession to your daughter, and your place to judge whether she is ready to sit outside the confessional alone.

Eamon

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