The Lessons We Should Learn From Japan To Raise Competent Kids


Western kids have been considered spoon fed from a young age, since parents make their food, launder their clothes and tidy their rooms.

Once they enter the workplace, it seems that these moves made by parents in their children’s younger years have hindered the life skills that they should have learned in school or at home, and are in need of being taught these skills at an older age.


So our attention turns to the way schools act differently in Japan, and the benefits their differences have on young children.

Former Dean of Freshman at Stanford, Julie Lythcott-Haims says, “By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren’t actually helping.”

In Japan, kids are taught about independence from a young age, and how to take care of themselves.

These teachings also have a positive effect on children, as Japanese children are genuinely happy and are proud of their efforts.

Even lunch period is considered as educational in Japan, as children set up their own desks, put on their aprons and ensure they wash their hands.

Just like they finish their morning class by thanking their teacher for teaching them, they go to the kitchen to thank the cooks for making them delicious food.

They also take turns to serve themselves and clean up as a group after eating a meal which consists of fish, mashed potatoes, vegetable soup, bread, and milk.

Their cleaning up doesn’t just end in the kitchen, but they also clean the school themselves. The daily practice of o-soji teaches them to respect their environment, and they also see it as an act that they enjoy rather than as a chore.

Also, Japanese children as young as seven will already be making their own way to school by either walking or taking the train, whereas parents in the Western world are seen as being too paranoid to allow their child to do this.

When children complete chores from a young age, they develop an independent nature and are considered as being responsible and competent when they become adults.

If the same was done for Western children, then they will be in a better position when they enter the workplace, since they will be confident in their ability to succeed.