Q: Is there a danger of teaching social and emotional issues to young children aged 4 to 7? I am wondering if they are developed enough to understand and isn’t there a danger of socializing impressionable minds and how do you teach when there are so many cultures in each class?
A: No danger, if done well – but great benefits. The best programs for young children in social and emotional learning, or SEL, are designed by child development specialists who know what is appropriate for each age. So during the 4-to-7 years, for instance, learning to delay gratification and not give in to every impulse (like hitting when you’re angry) is an essential lesson, particularly because the brain’s circuitry for managing impulse is going through a growth spurt just about then.»