Netflix “Old Enough” is the newest wholesome Japanese TV show on the streaming platform. It features adorable toddlers independently running errands.
In this article, you’ll read:
- How Japanese parents teach their children to be independent
- Netflix “Old Enough!” raises concerns about parenting and child safety
- Child safety concerns on the show
How Japanese Parents Teach Their Children to Be Independent
Unlike other countries, parents in Japan teach their children how to be independent at a young age. However, their way of raising their kids sometimes alarms parents of different cultures.
When you visit Japan, you might be shocked and confused by how children act. When it comes to culture and traditions, the mannerisms of Japanese children may appear unbelievable to other Asian parents.
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In many other cultures, it’s unusual to see elementary students walking to school on their own or in small groups. In Japan, young kids sometimes even take public transport without any adult supervision.
The reason behind that was that parents what to foster independence in kids at a young age. They aim to introduce their children to a sense of responsibility before they reach adolescence.
Simple Responsibilities Taught to Japanese Children
When you get the chance to watch Netflix “Old Enough!,” you may find the age of the kids surprising. There, kids as young as six years old do simple tasks by themselves. This enables them to develop a sense of responsibility. They also start encouraging children to craft things by themselves once they reach the first year of elementary.
Kids are encouraged to help in cleaning their schools. They also take turns serving classmates lunch while carrying heavy pots and utensils to their classrooms.
Aside from that, they also begin to navigate their way to and from school at a young age. Kids travel to school carrying heavy bags and making their way through different stations and intersections without help. their parents.
Simple Adult-Like Tasks Before Kids Turn Six
Most parents in Japan prepare their kids with adult-like responsibilities before they turn six. They do this to prepare their kids for what they’ll face once they start going to school by themselves.
These responsibilities or errands can range from basic household chores to carrying their own bag on family outings. Sometimes, kids even fetch simple items from the local shop.
These kinds of tasks might seem difficult for most kids aged six and below. However, the kids’ ability to complete tasks on their own can surprise both the adults around them and themselves.
It could boost children’s confidence knowing that they can manage to succeed in the task given to them. It gives them a sense of confidence as they venture out into the world.
The “Old Enough” Series on Netflix Raises Concerns About Parenting and Child Safety
Image Source: Netflix
Before the release of Netflix “Old Enough!,” people in Japan raved about a different show with a similar theme. People tuned in to an incredibly heartwarming TV programme entitled “Hajimente no Orsukai.” The show translates to “First Errand.” It has been popular in the country for the past 30 years.
Much like “Old Enough!,” “Hajimente no Orsukai” shows toddlers completing errands by themselves. It shows kids managing chores and fulfilling their tasks without the supervision of their mums or dads.
Netflix says, “‘Old Enough!’ is the most wholesome show you’ve ever seen — in this unscripted series, Japanese toddlers (ages 2-5) are sent on simple errands to help their parents, and the results are just so pure.”
All the 20 episodes of the show are now available on the famous streaming platform. It began streaming with subtitles on Netflix on the 31st of March 2022. Meanwhile, “Hajimente no Orsukai” is a three-hour programme that airs twice a year in Japan.
Child Safety Concerns on the Show
Despite the concerns of parents who watched “Old Enough!,” it still managed to garner numerous international viewers. The responses regarding the show and its cute stars were filled with heartfelt praises.
Because of the show’s theme, it sparked overseas debate about the safety of the children. These reactions highlighted the cultural differences and accustomed beliefs between Japan and Western countries like the U.S.
Meanwhile, the people in charge clarified that every precaution was taken to ensure the children’s safety. Months of preparation go into each child’s solo journey. They made sure that the routes were inspected by staff and parents to make sure it was safe regarding road traffic.
Aside from that, the residents are notified about the shoot with the kids. With this, no one interrupts the children as they independently complete their tasks. On a normal day, the kids’ neighbours usually go out of their way to help the young ones.
Meanwhile, film crews and production staff disguise themselves as in-store shoppers and ordinary passersby along the route during filming. They aim to remain undetected by the child as they complete their task or errand.
Entrusting children to look after themselves and those around them is a natural part of child-rearing in Japan, and urban, and community structures help to support this culture.
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