Conversation Starters  - RESPECT

 Below are sample conversation starters on the topic of respect. Please take a moment to read through the questions prior to their use over the course of the month. Don’t forget to have fun with this type of “Table Talk.” This is a time for children to learn how to express themselves. Warning: you might not like all of their answers J, or they might have difficulty at first expressing themselves about specific topics regarding values – please, for now, hold back on “correcting” them. Think of this as an exercise in sharing of ideas, an opportunity for you as parents to model for them. This is a terrific opportunity to see how our children think, feel, what they observe, and how we as the adults in their lives are teaching our children family values.

Suggestion: One meal a week end with question number 10.


Have each person in the family take turns answering the various questions according to their ability.

  1. What does Respect mean? (This could also be made into a poster to be hung in the home.) Take turns adding to the list.

Sample ideas for defining respect:

Being kind to your friends and family

Using a kind voice and choosing kind words

Using good manners

Not hitting or hurting others

Talking to your Circle of Safe Adults* about your problems

Recognizing and respecting differences in myself and others

  1. How does Daddy show respect for mommy? How does Mommy show respect for Daddy? (ex. answers: talk to each other with a kind voice, offers to be helpful, listens when the other speaks, helps solve problems, etc)

  2. How do I show respect for myself? (I take care of myself, take care of my belongings, eat healthy, exercise, I stand up for myself, I get help when I need to, etc)

  3. How do I (or my family) show respect for education? (We have books in our home, we see mommy reading, parents help us with our homework, etc)

  4. How do I show respect for my teachers?

  5. How do I show respect to my friends?

  6. How do I show respect for kids at school that aren’t my good friends? Do I have to show respect for them?

  7. What would you feel if you saw someone being disrespectful?  

  8. What could/would you do if you saw someone being disrespectful to a friend? (to a parent? to a teacher?)

  1. End with this fun and positive activity:

Share a compliment to each person at the table- begin with the sentence:

            A special trait I like about my brother is……

            Or my brother is special to me because he……

            Sister, mother, grandmother, etc

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