I note that some parents/caregivers might have use for this idea. I realized a couple years ago, that while observing Kiddo interacting with The Baby Vikings, she shared behavioral and emotional reactions with the four year old. I started watching in more depth, and figured, "OK, Kiddo's emotional function is that of a four year old girl." I didn't realize how important that understanding was until a year or so later, when in a fit of pique she made accusations at school, which led to a home visit from a CPS social worker and a deputy sheriff. In the deputy's interviews with all involved, when he surprised me by asking All The Right Questions, one he asked was "About what age would you say she functions at?" Things not having changed that much, I was able to state with confidence "She functions emotionally at the level of a four year old." After his private interview with her, when he assured me (whereupon, unlike the supermom I have a reputation for being, I burst into tears) that he saw no evidence of abuse or neglect, he said "Mrs. ______, you nailed her developmental age perfectly." (note: This deputy is known to a few other parents of challenging offspring, a couple of us have shared "Deputy C____" tales of how he helped us - and how respected he is in this small town. He told me that after he retires, he wants to go back to school and study to be a special needs teacher.) So, when you think about how to act, how to react with your difficult child's, how easy is it to say "He's at the level of a ___ Year Old?" How much does having that as a tool in your toolbox help you find help, and help you cope?