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What’s your impression of parental supervision of children when families are out and about in Japan?

12 Comments

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Excellent

3 ( +3 / -0 )

On the whole, it's pretty good. The notable exception is a wanton disregard for certain known dangers. Near water, like river banks, beaches etc. , it's not bad if the dad is about, but I'll often see kids in the water with no supervision, usually when it's just the mother with them. In car parks, it's fine if its the family out together at a supermarket, shopping center etc. If it's just one parent picking up kids at hoikuen or an activity at a sports hall or community center however, you'll often see young children running around the car park unsupervised while the parent chats to other parents. I would put seatbelt use at about 50%, which is also very irresponsible.

In most places, restaurants and communal spaces like playgrounds, families are usually very well behaved. Camp sites too.

This is all based on observation of inaka people.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Is the assumption here that it is any better or worse than anywhere else? Of the countries I've observed, it isn't.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As Risky intonated - generally it is and it isn't. You'll find negligent non-supervision cases anywhere.

That said though, the biggest gripe I have is as kohakuebisu stated - kids jumping, standing, fooling around in moving cars unsecured either by seatbelts or child seats.

This is simply gross negligence - no two ways about it. Pathetic supervision that often ends in tragedy.

The law states this is illegal, but sadly all I can think of is the parents just "Simply don't care".

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Mothers drive cars here with babies strapped on their front in baby slings. I am not joking.....well at least baby is restrained, unlike the toddlers jumping around on the front passenger seat.....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yeah, the horrifying sight of kids jumping around in cars is negligence on the par of the parents.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Before Japan I had never stopped a child walking into the road-I have here on three separate occasions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seems pretty relaxed, as it should be.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Parents have to walk a fine line between giving kids enough freedom to grow and keeping them safe and out of trouble. I think in general, Japanese parents achieve this balance well. There are a lot of elementary school kids who play out in the streets around where I live but I rarely see them near the busier roads or out after dusk.

However, when it comes to vehicular safety such as bicycle helmets, child seats, and seat belts, people are way too lax. I see my daughters' friends standing up between their parents in the front seats as the car is moving all the time. Mothers riding a bicycle through traffic with a small baby in a sling strapped to their front is another one that gives me the heebie-jeebies.

As with Kohakuebisu, these are all inaka observations.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One thing is, mother's with newborns in sling type carriers, with no neck support.

Babies necks need support, they are not strong enough to hold up their heads till at least 3 months.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Strange mix here. It is refreshing to see that there isn't the paranoia in parents that exists in certain western countries. The gripping fear of "stranger danger" is far to strong back home. The reality is that kids are safer today than any time in history- there are almost zero kidnappings, fewer accidents, etc, yet parents are waaaay too overprotective. I enjoyed seeing my son walk to school alone/with his friends when he was in elementary school, and go to the park alone as well.

However, certain parents are simply "scolding machines". They constantly scold with no follow up discipline. It gets annoying to hear "mo, Yu-kun, yamete" repeated endlessly in a tired nasal voice while Yu-kun runs amok.

Paging tmarie, this is one of her evergreen topics!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's case by case. Some keep their kids on a tight leash. But have seen plenty who routinely have no care wandering around a grocery store and have to listen to the annoying screaming of their kid(s) calling for them. Or running in shops, restaurants, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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