Creating Compassionate Kids

Essential Conversations to Have with Young Children

Selected as a “Favorite Book for Parents in 2019” by Greater Good magazine, this book provides parents with a framework for using conversations that help their children become caring people. Each chapter focuses on a characteristic — such as compassion, self-awareness, and resilience — and provides parents with age-appropriate conversations that can help shape their children’s understanding of the world. 
270 pages. ©2019.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted January 11, 2023


great book for teaching our young how to be compassionate in this day and age


Review posted December 19, 2022


I found this text to be helpful in having real-time skills that can used with children that focus on reinforcement of compassion, while also building relationships. I found that this book prompted some very heavy, but beneficial discussions between my own children and children I encounter professionally. I would recommend for those who have opportunities to build relationships with young people such as teachers, caregivers, foster parents, etc.


Review posted November 17, 2022


This book was very insightful and helpful for me as a mother of a young girl!


Review posted September 27, 2022


It was a good insight on academic demands, anxious about relationships, I liked the areas of the importance of conversations and building self-awareness

Hilary Barfield

Review posted September 7, 2022


Great book!

Diana Lea Thompson

Review posted July 16, 2022


This book was extremely helpful in explaining how everyday conversations can help both grownups and children understand each other better and work through situations that happen all the time. Scenerios are given to show how interactions, explanations, and verbal affirmation is beneficial in helping children learn how to express themselves and to build their confidence level. Great suggestions on strategies and coping mechanisms for challenges parents face as well. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone with children. Not just parents, but grandparents and aunts and uncles as well because it helps you understand how the interactions of the whole family with a child, or children, affect them and can be of a more positive nature to build self esteem, compassion for others, and confidence in themselves.


Review posted July 3, 2022


As a mother of young children this book is a wonderful resource for future conversations I will have to have with them.

Bailey Guido

Review posted June 23, 2022


The author is very informative and this book contains many wonderful ideas to implement.


Review posted May 5, 2022


This was a great read. As an aspiring educator, I am always looking for ways to connect with students and support them as they navigate social/emotional development. I highly recommend this one to anyone working closely with young children!

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Review posted May 4, 2022


It was a great book and now I shared it with my daughter who has young children. Thank you

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Review posted April 12, 2022


Dr. Shauna Tominey does an excellent job with this easy to read book presenting a variety of (usually) hard to discuss topics and showing conversational role plays of how to grow respect, openness, and compassion in our young people. I liked that a mix of ages were used including pre-verbal kids to encourage starting those open conversations as early as birth. I also liked the interwoven respect for individual families’ beliefs and cultures that we can teach our children what and why we have certain beliefs, even if they might be different than someone else’s. I loved the comment of how important it can be to be the first one to introduce a sensitive topic to our own children. It has really helped me open up dialogue with my kids and make small comments into learning moments when before I would shy away from diving deeper into potentially uncomfortable conversations.

Angela Ranney

Review posted March 2, 2022


I love this book. It offers great guidance.


Review posted February 8, 2022


very good book with tips


Review posted January 5, 2022


I think that every parent should read this book, especially those who might need help with conversation starters. I want to live in the world this book is hoping to create. Lessons of the book are easy to understand and I like sample conversations. It talks about importance of talking to your child and it's broken down into chapters. It also includes book lists for children. It's lovely!


Review posted January 5, 2022


Loved this book! The strategies laid the groundwork for conversations with my children.


Review posted December 23, 2021


Great book with great topics that can easily be worked into day to day conversations.


Review posted December 21, 2021


Excellent book! Really easy to read and generates lots of ideas and gives examples of how to have these conversations.

Toby Abraham-Rhine

Review posted December 15, 2021


Creating Compassionate Kids provides practical, easy steps that any adult can use immediately to start instilling compassion and empathy in our children. As a school counselor, I am pulling lessons from its pages and encouraging both staff and guardians to read this book. I appreciate the author’s use of stories, not just theory, to teach us the simple principles. The reader can easily relate to the scenarios and the author was wonderful to use a multitude of family situations and multi-cultural names. Every family can find itself in its pages.


Review posted December 6, 2021


This is really a great book, especially in this day and age. If all of our children could be compassionate what a wonderful world it would be.


Review posted November 24, 2021


A thoughtfully written book that encouraged me to rethink each conversation I have with a child as an opportunity to instill values and infuse learning.


Review posted November 15, 2021


This is one of those books that will be re-read numerous times and recommended to others. The conversations are real and the rationales are supportive and detailed. Great Book.

Stacy Armstrong

Review posted November 7, 2021


What a great resource for parents! Thank you for making these books available.


Review posted October 10, 2021


I've just received this book and am excited to think about social-emotional skills and the idea of compassion vs. promoting academic skills within our children.


Review posted September 28, 2021


I loved this book! So many great tips and idea for communicating with children. I'm always looking for new ways to approach conversations with my kids, and this was a great resource.

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Review posted September 14, 2021


This book has a lot of great conversation starters for creating dialog about feelings. it was a bit dry in places but i learned some valuable perspectives


Review posted August 17, 2021


a wide array of meaningful techniques for creating space for these conversations, and provides an understanding of WHY they are so vital.


Review posted August 12, 2021


Such a great book to really reflect on the conversations we have with our kids and kids in general. These topics have been especially valuable during age 7, when so many big questions get asked and the answers truly understood.


Review posted July 6, 2021


This was a great book for me as a kindergarten teacher. After watching the author speak an early childhood conference, I knew I wanted to learn more! Very important reminders for teachers and parents alike.


Review posted June 21, 2021


Wonderful resource about connecting and practical application.


Review posted April 12, 2021


Love having another tool to increase and expand my conversations with children in my class


Review posted January 24, 2021


I really appreciated the example conversations this book provided. There was such a diverse range of topics and family/kid backgrounds and experiences. I think every family, educator, and person who works with children should read this book!


Review posted January 15, 2021


"If you had to choose one word to describe the world you want your children to grow up in, what would it be?" This book goes through sincere examples of how to have compassionate conversations with children. It provides dialog of where to start.


Review posted December 26, 2020


Well written...I definitely feel like I have more understanding and approach things with more compassion now. I would highly recommend.

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Review posted December 20, 2020


This book has great ideas. Wish I had it when my boy was littler. I’ve already talked with families about the book and concepts in it. Has a great book list too.


Review posted December 18, 2020


This book was great, especially if you are a mental health practitioner and wondering about conversation starters that could help increase compassion for your clients. There are a lot of different topics from manners to gender orientation. This is less a book you would read cover to cover (it doesn't specifically have a good flow), it is more one that you would reference as topics come up in session.


Review posted December 17, 2020


I enjoyed reading this book. It's a very quick read and easy to follow. It doesn't have a lot of heavy scientific psychology jargon like other books I've read; rather this author is relatable and likable through her writing. The author uses real life scenarios and dialogue to prompt discussion and make points. Tominey's real life scenarios make her points of creating compassionate kids easy to remember and follow.

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Review posted December 15, 2020


I love the sample conversations and I think they make the lessons of the book easy to understand. It talks about the importance of talking with your child and breaks into chapters building self-awareness, fostering resilience, and promoting compassion. It gives a lot of model conversations. It also includes booklists for children. It's a must read.

Amie Thompson

Review posted November 18, 2020


Very informational and moving. A definite must read.


Review posted November 7, 2020


This book was easy to read with simple examples on how to effectively communicate with your children. Well organized to be able to return to trouble areas and freshen up later on.


Review posted November 4, 2020


Good read!

Janice I Woody

Review posted September 30, 2020



Lori Harch

Review posted September 24, 2020


I thought this book would be helpful for mentors in the Mt. Shasta Mentors program, and it would. The insights aren't earth-shattering, but they are insightful, and the example conversations are quite good. They make the information easy to digest and remember. This is a worthwhile read, one that I will share.


Review posted September 19, 2020


Measurably worthwhile book! Examples of conversations along with reasonings assist folks in having their own conversations. Plus, quite a few subjects were covered.


Review posted September 11, 2020


Having this conversation with kids is always important and even more so during the current times. Compassion, understanding and empathy need to be part of every kitchen dinner table. We must ensure that kindness prevails and our next generation of kids passes that along to their children. This is an important topic!


Review posted September 7, 2020


I enjoyed this book. It gave me good insite on how to approach some conversations with my students.


Review posted August 25, 2020


such a good book. lots of great tips and information about raising kids with compassion and providing empathy


Review posted August 22, 2020


I thought this book was great, and wish I would have known about it when my kids where even younger! The multiple examples of conversations given on each topic were very helpful. Even on topics I had already discussed with my daughter, I felt the way they were explained in the book gave me more and better ways to discuss them further. The book covered a variety of different topics to discuss, how to discuss them, and even gave titles of books to read with your children, as well as examples of activities to do with your children. It was very well written and I definitely recommend it to others!


Review posted August 12, 2020


I love the philosophy behind this book. Tominey really shines light on how important it is for parents to have meaningful conversations with their children. The sooner you start the better, but it's never too late! Our kids just need us to be real with them.


Review posted July 31, 2020


Really great informational book. Though I may not have kids of my own, I will definitely be using this book to help me in conversations with my younger cousins and nephews. So far has been a great tool!


Review posted July 16, 2020


Shauna Tominey explains clearly how to communicate with children so they will understand, learn, and become able to listen before commenting, which helps them gain social skills that are acceptable with others. When adults/teachers use the techniques offered their lives become more enjoyable and productive too! The book supports a win/win solution if the techniques are used appropriately!


Review posted July 10, 2020


I enjoyed this book and what an important topic to discuss. We can model compassionate behavior and talk with children about what compassion is in order to best prepare them for the transition to becoming a compassionate adult.


Review posted July 8, 2020


I loved the tone and concrete examples of important conversations to have with children. It helped to reinforce that these difficult topics shouldn't just be a one-time 'talk' but discussed all throughout a child's life and as opportunities for learning and teaching arise. Particularly in this challenging time right now, a book like this is so helpful and important.

onalee Mansor

Review posted June 24, 2020


Creating Compassionate Kids, Essential Conversations to Have with Young Children, covers the "tough" questions children ask with logical responses. The dialogs are real and I will use them with parents in my parenting class. Excellent book!

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Review posted May 21, 2020


This book gave me great insight into what is happening in my children's life right now.


Review posted April 27, 2020


Love this book. Lots of good points and from someone who had a really hard past it showed me some good ways to have the important conversations.


Review posted April 13, 2020


Very informative and educational


Review posted April 3, 2020


From the moment I heard the author speak at a training I knew I had to get a copy of her book. I work with ages 5-12 and it has a bunch of great ways to talk to kids ranging from sexuality, special needs and divorce. A must read for parents and childcare workers


Review posted March 31, 2020


This is a fantastic book. It had a lot of really good ideas for helping kids learn compassion for others


Review posted March 27, 2020


Love this one. A must have for any parent or educator’s collection.