Conversation Starters – Compassion 

Below are sample conversation starters on the topic of Compassion. 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, 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: End one dinner a week with the last question.

On Compassion: It is important to encourage compassion in children. Compassion is not just that act of “feeling sad for someone else” – but to act on their feelings by doing something for someone else. Of course as with any character education – children learn from our example. In our daily lives do we show compassion to the Earth? People? Animals?


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

  1. What does Compassion 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 Compassion:

-          Genuine concern for the welfare of others

-          Sympathy for the suffering of others, often including a desire to help

  1. What are some other words that remind you of Compassion?

  2. Kind

  3. Gentle

  4. Giving

  5. Concerned

  6. Sympathetic

  7. Caring

  8. Empathetic



  1. How do you show compassion to another person?

  2. Do all people deserve to be treated with compassion? Why or why not?

  3. How can you show compassion to your classmates?

  4. Tell of a time someone showed you compassion. How did you feel?

  5. How have you shown compassion to the Earth? Why do we need to show compassion to the Earth?

  6. Have you ever shown compassion to animals?

  7. How do my parents model compassion?

  8. Model compassion – give an example

  9. Volunteer – kids and adults can do this

  10. Give to charity

  11. Perform Acts of Kindness – (ex. bring food to person in need)

  12. Encourage Apologies and Forgiveness

    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 (sister, mother, father, etc) is……

Or my sister is special to me because she……

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