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Friday, April 13, 2012

Tabula Rasa !

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Watching my kid growing up, makes me wonder that how she knows that  jumping from a high chair can be dangerous even for the first time. She was bit curious and afraid when she saw fire for the first time. Chocolates, colorful balloons and animation attract her and I guess infants and toddlers all over the world, in almost the same manner.

Are we really are born clean slate ! I think irrespective of the place, family or surroundings the human infants are born with human instincts, which perhaps they learn/acquire genetically or experiencing the external world while sleeping lazily in the womb.

I like hot coffee, cold milk, tangy tomato sauce, sweet sweets but she likes cold tea, hot milk, sweet tomato sauce and spicy spices, though we are married for forty years now. Brothers and Sisters are raised for ten to twenty years under the same roof, but still they perceive, react differently to same situations. I don't think any of the identical twins will have similar liking and personality, though in addition to being exposed to identical surroundings they share few genes as well.

So I think Neither the Blank Slate hypothesis (Tabula Rasa) Nor the hypothesis that we are product of our surroundings is true in isolation, in totality.

More importantly we have to understand the significance of this non-blank slate hypothesis while raising our infants and toddlers. It might sound surprising but yes even the infants and toddlers do have a personality, idiosyncrasies. If we assume that they are Blank Slate and try to impress upon them our ideologies, our ways of behaving, it might work in some cases but I dont think its the best way to interact with infants and toddlers.

Parents keep telling their kids that they are free to do, choose career, marry as per their liking, free will. But is that actually true! By assuming that the new born is a blank slate, the parents intentionally or unintentionally start not just guiding but largely influencing and shaping them the way they  wanted to live with a secret desire that their kids grow up to become what they always wanted to, but never could !


9 comments:

  1. It is so very true that sometimes kids are just puppets in the hands of their parents. The intention differs the consequence. Every individual is unique in its own sense. The thoughts and perception differ. Loved your flow in the writing.Nice post.

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    1. thanks for the comment Ashwini...very well said...the consequences can be diametrically opposite of the intended consequences

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  2. very true. parents, mostly unintentionally, impose their ideas, thoughts on their kids. nicely written.

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  3. The great Nature Vs Nurture debate. And how both could be forced. No, children are not born clean-slated.

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    1. nicely summarized nature v/s nurture Uma! I guess both are eqally important and so are genetic traits which too should be identified...

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  4. Children are not born clean-slated. They start learning and experiencing right from the mother's womb. It has been proved scientifically. That's why our ancient Indian culture came up with the concept of GarbhaSanskar.

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    1. thanks for the comment Ashwini. Yes, I agree they might be learning few things while in womb, I guess they acquire few traits genetically as well...

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  5. your post reminded me of psychology class in 2nd year...there is theory of tabula rasa versus innate ideas and i believe in the 2nd more than the first as it seems more logical and is more easily identifiable. there is also theory that a person consist of 2 parts, I (true self) and me (developed by interaction with society). it is the I that defines individuality and difference between 2 people born and brought in very similar circumstances but it is "me" part that makes us social.

    keep writing!!

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    1. good to read you Hitesh...the I and the Me will always keep fighting internally...sometimes they live in harmony with each other sometimes they dont...however its important to realize this difference while upbringing the infants and the toddlers and not just the grownup/teenage kids. My point, rather observation is I and Me are not mutually exclusive and so the task of parents is all the more difficult because they need to understand and strike balance so that both the I and the Me are developed..

      keep visiting and sharing your thoughts !!

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