Filling the Blanks

While studying psychology in school,I came across a interesting theory proposed by John Locke,a philosopher, that tried to explain a child’s behaviour by equating his mind to a  Blank slate or a ‘tabula rasa’. Now indeed various other theories have been proposed to invalidate it but somewhere this theory has clung to my mind like a leech .

When babies are born,are they not all sweet little cherubic angels who do not take much time to transform into teeny weeny devils as soon as they are hungry or wet or simply miss their mommy?Now the point is we all know how most babies are.However it is while they are growing up that all the differences begin surfacing and I am not even talking about their physical differences ,neither am I willing to negate their inherent qualities and unique identity.

Children and later as adults mostly  seen to be emulating their parents or guardians’ culture,traditions,habits of eating,language and to a certain extent even morality and behaviour towards the weak or ones elders and so on.Have we ever asked questions like why do most Asians quiet regularly eat rice or noodles as a dietary staple and not burgers?Why do most Indians absolutely revel in spicy food and most westerners would probably suffer from diarrhea if they did the same.Now I am not denying the effects of globalisation on our times where an American can any day relish the turkish kebabs or say an Indian can marvel a cheese pizza any given day but fact remains that we cannot deny that we all grow with a mind quiet blank which with passage of time and experiences have informations imprinted upon it.

How many times has it happened that we teach our child a certain thing ,a type of superlative and idealistic value which gets lost somewhere between our preaching and their implementing it,where does it all go wrong?.Can we ever deny how certain societies perceive genders and associate any roles while certain others barely view it as any different?This could certainly take up scary pro portions if intermixed with negative behavioral examples.A friend once told me that she was really upset with her son’s conduct at school as their were regular complaints at school of his getting violent with other students in class.She was extremely embarrassed owing to this and had frequently tried to address the issue along with his father but in vain.Years later  I came to know of her separation with her husband on grounds of domestic violence.Needless to say I was not surprised.

Closer home,on occasion of a mother’s day celebration I was thoroughly surprised when as mothers we recieved  a survey filled by our respective kids.Oh I simply cannot deny how endearing or cute these can be but they can also be eye-openers and how!To a question ,’what does your mother love to do ?’,my daughter had replied simply cooking.This actually made me think of everything that I was portraying about myself to her.Cooking to me is a need but certainly not what I would profess to love so perhaps she gathered it by my actions wherein perhaps I was spending too much time in the kitchen.Now many a times I hear my 4 year old daughter telling me-

“Mamma I want to become like you.”

“…and how would that be?”I would ask.

“I want to cook like you..”

Now there are so many exotic things that I would like my daughter to do and things to achieve but certainly it is rather cute when your little one is regularly handing out pizzas made out of play-doh and imaginary teas in tiny tea cups.Refreshing

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