— Jean Piaget Swiss psychologist, biologist, logician, philosopher & academic 1896 - 1980
The Language and Thought of the Child (1923) Tr. Marjorie and Ruth Gabain (1926)
Context: If children fail to understand one another, it is because they think they understand one another. The explainer believes from the start that the reproducer will grasp everything, will almost know beforehand all that should be known, and will interpret every subtlety. Children are perpetually surrounded by adults who not only know much more than they do, but who also do everything in their power to understand them, who even anticipate their thoughts and desires. Children, therefore... are perpetually under the impression that people can read their thoughts, and in extreme cases, can steal their thoughts away. It is obviously owing to this mentality that children do not take the trouble to express themselves clearly... This mentality does not contradict ego-centric mentality. Both arise from the belief of the child, the belief that he is the centre of the universe. These habits of thought account... for the remarkable lack of precision in the childish style.