Open Discussion Forum

1.  young children and civility

Posted 09-10-2017 01:09 PM
At a recent retreat for Educators for Peaceful Classrooms and Communities, we were discussing issues around civility.   We have more questions than answers. We are wondering how others are thinking about civility with young children. Would you consider civil behavior as a value for young children? What suggestions do you have to promote civil behavior in young children?

Marilyn Shelton [Designation]


2.  RE: young children and civility

Posted 09-11-2017 04:41 PM

I think this falls under teaching social/emotional skills. We need to focus on teaching friendship skills and building a sense of community in our preschool classrooms. Empathy is also included in this so children learn to understand what impacts their behavior has on others. Teaching children to respect each other goes a long way to developing civility. This requires appropriate behavior modelled by the adults in the children's lives because children are a reflection of their environment and learn from those around them.


Rebecca Elson

Early Childhood Consultant

Child Care Resource & Referral of Northeast Iowa

Exceptional Persons, Inc.


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3.  RE: young children and civility

Posted 09-12-2017 09:12 AM
​I agree with the previous response about civility being related to social/emotional development. In New York State, we have a state-wide initiative supporting the Pyramid Model. You can learn more about the Pyramid Model here: Pyramid Model Consortium Home 

 and what we are doing in New York State here: ECAC :: Pyramid Model


Karen Kissinger
NYS Office of Children & Family Services
Rensselaer NY

4.  RE: young children and civility

Posted 09-13-2017 11:15 AM
Civility is something that young children learn through guidance from adults who themselves must act with civility to young children. The adults must model respect and kindness toward each other and the children. Young children do not come into this world knowing how to be "civil". It is a learned behavior. I have heard early childhood teachers discuss how they expect three year olds to be "civil" without understanding that three year olds are just beginning to learn how to interact with other children in their play and in oral communication. It, again, shows how important knowing how young children develop in all developmental domains is very important for all who work with young children.

Nora Krieger
Highland Park NJ