Japanese children are the healthiest kids in the world, according to a study. And because healthy kids means happy kids, it might be time to borrow a few Japanese parenting secrets to use on your own children.
While the Japanese style of parenting is very different to how we raise our kids there are a few parenting tricks in Japan that are definitely worth trying.
Here are five ways to parent like the Japanese do … including the secret to why Japanese children tend to be so calm.
Praise for effort – not ability
In Japan, a child is praised by her parents for effort – not for ability. And this encouragement and praise for having a go, even if she is struggling with her reading or maths homework, means she is likely to work even harder.
A great parenting trick to try when your child is next doing her homework.
Teach her to be respectful
It’s very unlikely you’ll see a Japanese child having a tantrum in the supermarket aisles. Instead, she’s taught from a very early age to be respectful of her elders and to think about how her behavior affects her parents and other people.
Which means the thought of being told off in public is enough to keep her calm and well-behaved.
If it stops tantrums in the street, it’s worth a try …
Walk to school
In Japan, it’s not uncommon to see children as young as six or seven walking to school by themselves. More than 98% of Japanese children walk to school, according to the World Health Organization.
This is because the whole community – from the shop keepers to the bus drivers – all look out for the children.
While this is pretty extreme, the idea of walking to school with your child is definitely a parenting secret to pinch from the Japanese.
Never shout at your child
In Japan the word for discipline is ‘shitsuke‘. And this also roughly translates as ‘upbringing’.
It’s often down to mums to discipline their kids and they’ll rarely shout at their kids.
Instead, a child will be told to think about the consequences of what she’s done.
Which could be a parenting tip to try next time your child refuses to sit down for dinner or snatches a toy off her younger brother.
Teach your child to be independent
From an early age, children in Japan are expected to be independent and self-reliant.
Which is why Japanese parents expect their child to help around the house from a young age.
This teaches her how to clear up after herself … something that’s GOT to be worth trying