I have been a family law attorney for more than 17 years, and I have also been a guardian ad litem investigator who has been appointed by the Court in more than 60 cases, many of which involved young children. I've often been told by parents of children that their children have been 'protected' by the parents from hearing anything involving the marital disputes, and that the children do not know what is going on. Sadly, such is not usually the case and despite what may be the best efforts of the parents to shield their children from the disputes, the children are aware. I previously posted a link to a video of a pet bird that had been owned in the past by a couple who were in the midst of a separation. In the video, taken by its new family, the bird can be seen acting out what can only have been the behavior it witnessed in the former home. Indeed, one can even identify some of the language now repeated by the traumatized bird.
I am posting a link now to a video of a six year old girl who very clearly, and impressively, advises her mother about how she wants her parents to settle their disputes. If you still believe that your children are unaware of the marital issues, then watch this video. It is both amazing and heartbreaking that such a wise young girl feels that she must counsel the adults in her life - adults who are responsible for her well-being, but who nonetheless may not have been up to the task. She tells Mom, "I am not trying to be mean. I just want everyone to be friends."