Don’t Ask A Child Under Seven…

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Don’t Ask A Child Under Seven…
Don’t ask a child under seven why they did or said something.
They don’t know.

Children under seven don’t have the capacity for the sort of cognitive insight, especially under stress, that allows them to authentically answer that question.

Even if you’re sure they do know, even if they do answer, it is often not actually the reason. Five year olds don’t sit back, think over their week or month and reflect on their stresses in order to figure out why they might be short tempered on this particular day.

There are ways in which young children can reflect and reveal what’s going on–it involves calm, collaborative discussion from a place of genuine curiosity. It does not happen in response to “Why did you hit your brother?” or “Why are you speaking to me like that?” or “Why are you calling him names? He’s your friend!” or “Why did you take that? You know it doesn’t belong to you!”

If you really want to know why, learn how to ask… and OBSERVE.

-Robin Einzig

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