Are Japanese children more independent than your kids?
Do you want your kid to be an independent and a confident child? Teach him the Japanese way of life!
Imagine a 5-year-old boy travelling all by himself in a crowded train in your town. Petrified? I was! But then, this is a common sight in Tokyo, the home to one of the busiest trains in the world. Children from Japan are quite independent than their counterparts around the globe.
Japanese children run errands, right from an age when they can walk. What more, they do household chores, clean their schools, serve lunches and even grow their own vegetables at school! This is the concept behind the Japanese way of schooling. But what makes it possible? Studies have shown that in addition to self-confidence, the trust in the community is quite high.
So, when a mother sends her son to school, she trusts that other commuters would help him out if he needs. He, in turn, knows that he can turn to anybody for help and that he would be safe in doing so. This is possible as the crime rates in Japan are quite low. People take pride in helping others, and the children take pride in being useful to their family.
When you think about Japan, one thing that comes to your mind is quality. Japanese products are one of the best products in the world. So, noodles are not just noodles for them. They are a an art form. So a Soba master would spend three years just kneading the dough, and the noodles that he would make would bring joy to the person consuming them.
Similarly, the Japanese try to find avenues of learning in everything they do. A lunch time at this school in Japan is no exception.
These 5th graders do not view lunch time as a time they can squander. Instead, they learn the important concepts of team work, leadership and a good behaviour even in the simple act of having lunch!
They go prepared to the school for lunch with their lunch mats, chopsticks and tooth brush. They get their own food from the pantry. A leader distributes the food, and someone makes sure that the soiled plates are returned to the kitchen and the used juice boxes are disposed in a recycle bin. Later, the students take turns cleaning the classroom, something unheard of in schools in other countries.
This is not the school's way of getting things done from the students. It is a way of inducing discipline. The most important thing that children learn from this is that no task is beneath you. How would they turn into spoilt brats then!
Can your kids learn anything from their Japanese counterparts? Read on to find out.
Wherever you are, mums, I know that you want your kids to do great in life. But to be great, you need a solid foundation. Honing the skills is one thing, but learning to do everything and then mastering something is more important.
We can take these lessons from a Japanese child of your kid's age.
- Take pride in what you do. A Japanese kid will take pride in what he does. That is why, if he falls short of something, he will take immediate steps to correct it.
- There are no shortcuts. If a Japanese child has to master an art, he spends years learning it, repeating it so that he becomes a master some day. Likewise, there are no shortcuts in education. Your child will have to repeat things till he masters them, only then will he become an expert in something.
- Team work is essential. Japanese kids are taught team work and situational leadership right at school. So they learn to take accountability and give commands when they are in charge, and obey the commands when they are not. This builds character.
So, mums and dads, do you like the way Japanese kids are brought up? Do let us know in the comments below.
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