Are They Old Enough?

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The global parenting debate has a new culprit.

Old Enough” is a Japanese show about little kids (as young as two) doing errands independently. Little kids are hilarious and awesome, so it’s been popular in Japan for over 30 years. Netflix just started airing it. Cue the global judgment. The kids are too young, this is irresponsible, etc., etc.

This criticism (and most parenting opinions) comes from a good, humanitarian place. We are all human, and most of us want to see other humans succeed. A parent’s job is to help our kids survive and hopefully become good humans.

But we are human too. I know I’m going to screw up my kid in some way. I think we all will. We can’t let them grow up on instinct alone, so decisions have to be made; kids have to be “trained”–to sleep, be polite, and do things that will help them succeed in this world. When I die, no one will be there to wipe my kids’ butts if I don’t teach them to go potty.

The best I can do is the best I can do. And I’m not wild about judging parents for the best they can do. There is a line here that I haven’t found. Some things are obviously over that line, and the kids need protection. (Kids are humans, too.) But some issues are fuzzy.

I will continue to search for the line, but I don’t think teaching a kid independence and self-reliance on “Old Enough” in THE SAFEST WAY POSSIBLE is over that line.

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