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Japanese elementary schools’ list of behavior requirements would be hard for most adults to clear

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

The Japanese school year is winding down, which means some teens are dealing with the bittersweet emotions of their impending high school graduation as they tearfully eat their final made-by-mom bento boxed lunch. But on the other end of the spectrum, some kids’ formal education is just about to begin as they enter elementary school.

That’s the case for mother and manga artist Mandaring (@mandaring on Twitter), who recently received a parents’ orientation package from the school her child will be attending. Included in the packet is a list of expectations regarding students’ behavior, but the extensive checklist is causing a stir in Japan because ticking off every item would be difficult for many adults to do, let alone kids.

Image: witter/@mandaring

The 18-point list begins with:

“Before your student begins classes at the school, please make sure they are capable of the following. Also, as parents and family members, please follow the same conduct yourself.”

The 18 points are divided into two categories, starting with “Basic Conduct and Attitude,” which lists:

● Attentively listen when someone is speaking.

● Greet others and respond to questions in a clear, easily audible voice.

● Sit up properly in your chair.

● Have a clear understanding that what belongs to others does not belong to you.

● After taking off your shoes, arrange them neatly in the entryway.

● Make sure your clothing is clean and unwrinkled.

● Keep your desk and surroundings tidy and organized.

● Take responsibility to go to bed early and wake up early on your own.

● Eat a proper breakfast.

● Always brush your teeth.

● Never tell lies.

Moving on to “Relationships with Friends,” the remaining criteria are:

● Do not leave anyone feeling left out.

● If someone has a problem, help them.

● Do not badmouth your friends.

● Be able to get along with, play, and learn with anyone.

● Don’t always just play by yourself, but be friendly in playing together with everyone.

● Play outside, both to get plenty of exercise and also to relax in natural surroundings.

● If you make a mistake, earnestly apologize.

If you can do all that even as a full-grown adult, most people would say you’ve grown into a pretty good person. Asking parents to make sure their kids can do all of it before even starting the first grade, though, seems like a pretty tall order when dealing with such little kids.

With a kid entering elementary school, Mandaring should have plenty of material for her "Oyasodate Nikki" (“Diary of Raising Parents“) series.


Still, the list is a pretty comprehensive collection of admirable goals, especially its emphasis on not alienating others, given how important group activities are in Japanese society. And though one could make the counterpoint that the most important part of elementary school education isn’t scholastic knowledge, but social development, it’s also encouraging to see the school subtly reminding parents that in order for lessons about how to get along with others to really sink in, kids need to see kind and conscientious behavior not just in their classroom, but in their home as well.

Source: Twitter/@mandaring

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Japanese Twitter user’s description of the ideal boyfriend is refreshingly reasonable

-- Japanese man’s parents present Notice of Expiration of Child-Rearing Services on 20th birthday

-- Nintendo announces awesome mini NES loaded with 30 games that attaches directly to your TV

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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if they can get kids like this, maybe the kids can teach the class too.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good luck with that list.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The bizarre thing is that at primary school most kids do that list without too many problems. Though it is the first time I have seen it written down like that. It is probably some private school.

But most kids will have very few problems with anything on that list. What disturbs me is how little we expect from them these days.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What exactly is the issue here? All those items seems incredibly reasonable for anyone to do. They aren't even set rules, just guideline anyway so this seems like an obvious thing to tell newly starting kids

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I would be disqualified on the " Never tell lies" condition.lol

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Make sure your clothing is clean and unwrinkled"

I'm still stuggling with this at 43 years old..

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Just, wow! Kids like this would have been picked on as 'goodie-goodies' at my school, and despite following all the 'rules' their internal lives could well have been miserable.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Kindergarten curriculum

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sounds like programming for robots.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

There are many occasions in which you SHOULD most definitely lie, and that includes times when a person of authority speaks to you and demands “the truth”.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

From what I've read here on JT about teachers' abuse of students, I think they should be the ones forced to pay attention to the list.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think some of the kids in the US UK and others could do with this list, and maybe some of the parents.

Nothing wrong with the list.

thepersoniamnowToday  03:24 pm JST

There are many occasions in which you SHOULD most definitely lie, and that includes times when a person of authority speaks to you and demands “the truth”.

I think you confuse the idea of telling lies, with white lies which is to protect the other person and the relationship and is harmless, while the other lie harms and covers something up. There is a clear difference between the two.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

And yet, a greater portion of elementary school teachers can't follow at least half of them.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I find the list a good starting point in life, basic good rules, manners, and respect, most of the Youth that come and works for me on a trail basis, 1: quite often they don't turn up on time, 2; don't have basic manners, 3: fall asleep whilst at work, 4: don't pay attention, 5: can't refrain from using your mobile phone whilst you working for me ( as its dangerous) 6: and grunt at customers, talk clearly!, sadly 99% of people don't have the ability to follow simple rules like these that the school has laid down! so installing these basic values on children will hopefully follow through when these children grow up into teenager, and adults. its a shame they don't instigate similar rules like these in the UK . What I do like about Japanese schools is that they have to sweep up and tidy the class room, unlike English schools that allow the kids to leave a mess everywhere as some one else will clean up after them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Even some adults, parents included, cannot fulfill that list.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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