One of my favorite memes on the Internet goes something like this, if we ever took the time to actually listen to a 4-year-old or 80+ person, you’d be surprised at what you’d learn Young kids are bluntly honest. Older people have a wisdom they’ve learned because of their years and the interesting lives they’ve lived, you want to write a book about them.
With my daughters, they were asking questions with puzzlement and blunt honesty starting around 4, while my youngest, like me had a social development disorder where our maturity age is more comparable to someone 5-10 years younger than us. (My two best friends are 10 and 15yrs younger than me). So school was a nightmare for both of us until we graduated.
With my oldest I’ll never forget my oldest at the age of 4 asking who Timothy McVeigh was when I was watching his arrest. She asked why he was in an orange suit. I told he’d done a very bad, terrible thing that had hurt a lot of people. She asked what, and I didn’t really know how to answer her, in fact I don’t remember exactly what I said, something to the effect that it was just really bad and he was going to be punished. Her reaction was to look at the TV and say, well he must be some kind of stupid (Something I say quite a bit, Southern sarcasm at it’s best), everyone knows you need to be kind to others. The blunt, honest reaction to something very horrific indicated that in her mind, everyone knows the difference between right and wrong, whether from a religious, moral or universal standard and that to ignore that standard was something everyone should know. And that hurting others was just plain wrong.
With my youngest she was still asking blunt honest, “what’s wrong with people” questions until about the age of 8. She was bullied terribly in middle school, and it made her life a living hell until she went to college. But she didn’t understand why her classmates were mean, when she wasn’t. She always sort of answered her own questions with similar statements as my oldest.
This video between a drag queen and kids in school is one I love because of the honesty and overall “I want to hug this kid” feeling I get. year-old Drag Queen talks to kids about being different
You might find some insight in the book The Righteous Mind. While it is dealing with adult behavior, the first part of the book is really dry, almost academic writing, but the second part is very interesting. It does deal with social development if I remember correctly. Either way it’s an interesting read.
So, maybe this helps, but my verbose response is actually my brain working through a wall in my current WIP. However, I’ve been in enough personal (bipolar/OCD/ADHD) and family therapy to know more than most people about mental health, and a lot of what makes people tick. HOWEVER, I’m not an expert or professional, but even at my SS retirement age, I still don’t understand why people are driven by hate and fear. And I was asking the same questions by the time I was around 6 when I started asking questions about the bible my dad didn’t have answers for. It drove him nuts.