According to Jean Piaget’s stages of child-development, children enter the “Preoperational Stage”, and a state of egocentrism, at the age of 2. Egocentrism refers to a child’s inability to take the perspectives of others. Children at this stage of development believe others experience the world the same as them. This includes thinking the same thoughts, having the same feelings, and seeing and hearing the same things.
Piaget believed that egocentrism lasts until the age of 7. A later study by Martin Hughes (the doll study) argued that children are able to take another person’s perspective as early as the age of 3. What neither theorist commented on, however, is the scientific fact that egocentrism returns when you find out you are going to be a grandparent. This truth is based on a longitudinal case-study of my mother, ClassicMom.
All grandparents are different, but you may be experiencing grandparent egocentrism if:
1. Despite the morning sickness, bloating, and emotional roller-coaster being experienced by your wife, your mother can’t stop talking about how she never felt sick in the slightest, and how she worked until a day before the delivery raking leaves in the yard while her neighbour repeatedly questioned, “You’re pregnant!?”
ClassicMom 1; Wife 0
2. Even though your child’s genes are only half yours, your mother takes every chance she gets to point out how your child looks the same, makes the same sounds, sleeps the same, smells the same, urinates the same, and blinks the same as you did when you were a kid.
ClassicMom 2; Wife 0
ClassicMom 3; Wife 0
4. At specific stages of your son’s development your mom sends pictures of you at the same age along with the actual clothes you were wearing in those pictures. She then instructs you to dress your child in your old clothes and take a picture of him posing like you so that she can confirm how similar you are.
ClassicMom 4; Wife 0
ClassicMom 5; Wife 0
While my research on grandparent egocentrism is 100% scientifically accurate based on my personal case study, I would like to further confirm the facts. Please comment to let me know your experiences. Together we can shed new light on this fascinating area of study.
____________________________________________________________________________References: http://www.simplypsychology.org/preoperational.html http://psychology4a.com/develop2.htm