Learning to unlearn

By | April 8, 2012
Reflections on the challenges of parenting

Since today is rather peaceful and quiet here, I've had a moment to sit back and reflect on things.

One of the most difficult things I'm having to do so far is learning to unlearn old habits and 'knowledge' that has been conditioned into me since a small child. In some cases, this is simply challenging: the classic example is not to raise your voice when angry at the kids. Or accepting a new explanation of the universe when your favorite theory is disproved. But in other cases, it is extremely taxing – especially when people close to you start to think you're crazy.

I've been experimenting with the diaper-free method of raising a baby. She hasn't pooped in her diaper for over two weeks now, and she's down to two or three 'accidents' a day – not bad for someone who isn't even two months old yet. I don't mind the astounded looks when she 'has to go' outside of home, or the reduced amount of laundry, but getting this far hasn't been easy. It has meant putting societal expectations of 'trust your doctor', 'follow the advice of your immediate support network' (which is convinced that holding a baby over a pot is bad for it's health and futile), and also my husband not so convinced about the whole diaper-free thing, into the 'ignore' heap and trying to get back in touch with instinct.

Unlearning to trust science and instead listening to your gut feeling is… very difficult, in particular in light of the entire training, education, and cultural expectations of the 'digital generation'. I suspect the amount to unlearn will only increase for future generations, as our dependency on science increases and our dependency on instinct decreases. I also suspect that striking a balance between unlearning the right things and being able to keep on par with modern developments and research is going to be an arduous challenge ahead.

4 thoughts on “Learning to unlearn

  1. Ken Tanaka

    Hi, +Sophie Wrobel. I read this post very interesting. It's a little difficult to understand for me though. I mean, because of my English matter.:-)
    I always say to myself, "First, doubt your values you've got."
    Yes, it is difficult. But I guess knowing that is good at least.


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