Pre-event family discussion questions for Kids’ Compassion Project: Urban Peak
Note to parents and caregivers: Below we offer information and a few questions that we hope are the beginnings of family discussions about the upcoming Kids’ Compassion Project event.
Compassion: A specific response to suffering:
- An awareness of the suffering of others
- A feeling of being emotionally moved by suffering
- A motivation to see the relief of that suffering
- A willingness and action to help relieve that suffering when possible
Urban Peak is the only non-profit organization in Denver that provides a full convergence of services for youth ages 15 through 24 experiencing homelessness or at imminent risk of becoming homeless. Our goal is to help these youth overcome real life challenges and become self-sufficient adults.
- Take a moment to think about what it would be like if you did not have a home or you were possibly going to become homeless soon.
- How would you feel at the end of the day if you didn’t have a home?
- What would you be concerned about?
- What thoughts and emotions would you have if you didn’t know where you would sleep that night?
- Brainstorm some small or large ways that you could help relieve the suffering of others.
Attending the Kids’ Compassion Project is a great start!
Loving-kindness: an essential sense of connection or care to self or another. An unconditional acceptance of how people are, not how you expect what them to be.
- Sometimes when we feel confused, sad, or frustrated, it is easy to focus on the things that other people do differently than we do or our ‘should’ (the story of what we think someone should be doing differently to make things better for themselves). This pull to distance ourselves from hurt or suffering is normal but can also get in the way of compassion and engagement to relieve someone else’s suffering (or your own).
- When you notice yourself getting caught in the ‘shoulds’ – pause. Ask yourself:
- What am I feeling right now?
- What don’t I understand about someone else’s perspective?
- How would I feel if I was in their shoes?
- Can I take a small step toward understanding?
There are opportunities to teach children compassion in almost every conversation you have. These lessons don’t need to be large, planned, or dramatic. While we are grateful that you joined this Kids’ Compassion Project event, your family’s ongoing compassion conversations may happen in much smaller, quieter ways. They can occur in the in-between moments, as you load the dishwasher at night or drive between events, and as the need arises, when your child has a conflict at school, or when you watch a homeless person cross the street. Compassion conversations have two guiding principles:
- Aiming to understand another’s feelings, perspective, and struggle
- A desire or commitment to help the other person