I recently tried to do a simple version of an examination of conscience with our kids. I thought it was a good idea: it would get them started in thinking back over their day to the times when they did something that they maybe shouldn’t have.

Me: So, think of one thing that happened today that you can tell Jesus that you’re sorry for.
Child: [after much thought] I’m sorry that Marie hit me…
Me: Ok, well, no. Think of something that you did that you’re sorry for.
Child: I’m sorry that I fell down and I hurt my knee…
Me: Ah, well… nevermind.

The Church, in her wisdom, places the first sacrament of Reconciliation (or sacrament of confession) at around the age of seven, when children begin to reason. It took many, many similar episodes to learn this the hard way: my children are too young. Lesson learned.