YOU TELL YOURSELF THAT YOUR CHILD……
Didn’t hear the arguing
Didn’t notice you slept on the couch
Doesn’t notice the lack of affection
Didn’t hear you cry
Didn’t notice how long you left the house
Doesn’t feel the tension
Is too young to know what’s happening
YOU TELL YOURSELF THAT YOU…..
Argued outside of ear-shot
Wiped the tears from your face
The last thing any parent wants is for their child to believe that mommy and daddy are fighting or breaking up because of them. No parent wants their child to blame themselves. If any of the above describe you, and your child is roughly between the ages of 4-7 years old, this is likely the territory that your child’s mind is wandering into. Understanding the stages of psychological development for your child’s age-range could be the key to enhancing your child’s emotional and psychological success over the long-term.
Developmentally, children between 4-7 years of age are in the stage of psychological development where they experience egocentrism 100% of the time. This means that they make everything that goes on around them about them. They believe that everyone thinks like they do, that the whole world knows how they are feeling and knows what they want. They have a sense of oneness with their environment, which leads children in this age range to feel like they are magically invincible, and have power and control over their environment.
For a child in this age range, this combination of believing everything is about them and believing that they can control their environment can be emotionally daunting. Especially if their parents are not getting along regularly. They see, feel and hear nearly every nuance around them, and their brains are constantly working in overdrive trying to make sense of this seemingly unpredictable world. So, if your child even perceives that mommy and daddy argued based on social cues picked up in the environment, your child may believe that they have done something “bad” that caused mommy and daddy to be mad at each other. Consequently, your child may then believe that he or she can control whether mommy and daddy fight, or even control whether the relationship works out.
Since the brains of children in this age-range are in such early stages of development, they have the inability to think any other way. Their thought process is dominated by perception and not logic, rendering it is nearly impossible to convince a child of anything outside of the perception they have.