Like us adults, in order for children to experience the freedom only found in Jesus Christ, they need the sacrament of Reconciliation. But they need our help to prepare for this precious, soul-cleansing meeting with their loving Lord.
I received this superb Examination of Conscience for kids from a colleague–educator and popular speaker, Barbara Falk– who teaches in a wonderful religious ed program in Manhattan called The Narnia Clubs.
There are many excellent children’s resources available online, but I thought this one was particularly good for use with young children. Barbara holds the copyright–so please do not sell it–but she gave me permission to share it widely for everyone’s use.
Here it is!
EXAMINATION OF CONSCIENCE FOR CHILDREN
1. I AM THE LORD YOUR GOD. YOU SHALL NOT HAVE OTHER GODS BESIDE ME.
– Do I speak ( PRAY ) to God every day? : when I wake up, before meals, before going to sleep.
– As soon as I wake up, do I give ( OFFER ) Him my school work and all my day?
– Do I remember to THANK God for the good things I have done or received?
– Do I put my trust in good luck charms, palm reading and superstitions, rather than God alone?
2. YOU SHALL NOT USE GOD’S NAME IN VAIN.
– Have I used the words “God” or “Jesus” in anger or with lack of respect?
– Have I used ugly words or language?
– Have I wished evil on another?
3. REMEMBER TO KEEP GOD’S DAY HOLY.
– Do I go to Mass on Sunday unless I had a good reason ? (lack of transportation, sickness)
– Do I do all I can to make Sunday a day of rest and joy for my family?
– Do I pay attention to Mass, or do I tease or distract others by talking or playing?
– Do I arrive late at Mass or leave early?
4. HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER.
– Do I respect and obey my parents?
– Have I treated them badly by word or deed?
– Am I willing to help round the house or must I be nagged a hundred times?
– Do I try to get along with my brothers and sisters? Am I a tattletale or bully?
– Do I try to give good example, especially to younger siblings?
– Do I respect others in authority: baby-sitters, old people, teachers, priests, nuns?
5. YOU SHALL NOT KILL.
– Do I beat up others or hurt their bodies?
– Do I say mean things, or make fun of others to hurt their feelings?
– Am I willing to play with everyone? Have I stopped speaking to anyone?
– Do I encourage others to do bad things?
– Do I take care of my health such as eating the right food and taking care of the body God has given me?
– Are there kids I will not play with or be mean to because they look different?
6. YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY.
– Do I treat my body and other people’s bodies with respect and purity?
– Do I look at television shows, movies, or pictures that are bad and hurt my soul and mind?
– Am I modest in the clothes I wear and in my speech, remembering that I truly am a daughter/son of God?
7. YOU SHALL NOT STEAL.
– Have I taken things that were not mine from a store or another person?
– Have I broken or misused another person’s property on purpose?
– Do I return things that I borrow? In good condition?
8. YOU SHALL NOT LIE (YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT FALSE WITNESS AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR).
– Do I tell the truth? Do I say things about other people that are not true?
– Did I cheat in class or in a game?
– Do I tell lies to make myself look good?
– Do I tell lies to protect myself from being punished?
– Do I tell lies to make another person look bad or get them in trouble?
– Am I a tattletale?
9. YOU SHALL NOT COVET YOUR NEIGHBOR’S WIFE.
– Do I get mad when I have to share my friends?
– Am I jealous of my siblings and do I want my parent’s attention for myself constantly?
– Am I willing to share my things and my time with others?
10. YOU SHALL NOT COVET YOUR NEIGHBOR’S GOODS.
– Am I thankful to God and my parents for what they have given me?
– Do I share the things I have with my family, friends and poor people?
– Am I jealous or envious of the things others have?
– Am I jealous or envious of the abilities others have?
THE ACT OF CONTRITION
Oh my God, I am heartily sorry for having offended you. I detest all my sins
because of Your just punishments, but most of all because they offend you, my God,
who are all good and deserving of all my love. I firmly resolve with the help of your grace,
to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life. Amen.