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Creating Compassionate Kids

Essential Conversations to Have with Young Children


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Learning easy ways to talk with children about difficult topics.

Young children look to the adults in their lives for everything. Sometimes we’re prepared for their questions and sometimes we’re not.

All child development research is clear about the importance of language and conversation in successful childhood outcomes for knowledge, attention, memory and learning. Recent research has also shown that effective conversations with children can make a difference in how they feel about themselves and the world in terms of empathy, resilience and compassion. Yet there are few books that show parents the practicalities of having these conversations.

In this book, Shauna Tominey, formerly the director of early childhood programming and teacher education at Yale Child Study Center, provides scripts for conversations parents should have with young children to address complex subjects like peer pressure, divorce and stress, as well as larger world issues. Parents are guided through sample discussions with research-based advice for creating dialogues that teach compassion and self-esteem.