Independent kids: Only in Japan

Just thought this juxtaposition was interesting in The Atlantic.

For Western kids, parents are so overprotective that to let your kids roam free, you have to be an ideologically “free-range parent” or go to special playgrounds that are designed to promote independence. All this to raise independent kids who will grow up to be presumably independent adults.

In Japan, they have a reality show that sends toddlers out to run errands (Hajimete no Otsukai, or My First Errand) and kids clean their own school’s toilets. All this to raise kids who will conform and cooperate in society. And this cooperative society allows for such independence.

Watching this errand show makes me think… it would be so nice if I could send Amos and Nathan out to buy groceries! Go to Costco guys! Get some milk and frozen berries! But knowing Amos he would just spend the whole time buying/eating snacks.


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