Childhood Freedom in Action: Japan’s “My First Errand” TV Show

Yesterday I was interviewed by a reporter from a Japanese newspaper. She moved to DC in 1999, but grew up in Japan and remembers freedom like you’re about to see:

Now that the reporter is raising her own daughter in suburban Maryland, she finds herself hovering in a way she never could imagine back in Japan. She doesn’t even understand where this “helicopter” impulse comes from. It’s not internal because, when she takes her daughter back to Japan for vacations, she lets her daughter zoom about on her own.

All of which is to say: We are living in a culture that has foisted upon us a near-constant fear for our kids’ safety. We breathe it in. But what seems NORMAL and PRUDENT in the United States is not the norm around the world. In other countries, just as in other eras here in America, kids are trusted with a lot more freedom, independence and responsibility.

And somehow parents are trusted, too. Trusted to tolerate some fear and tears on the kids’ part (and probably their own) in service of a greater joy that cometh with the groceries: The joy of seeing their kids blossom with pride and confidence.

Bonus: OMG their food looks great!

Download our “I’m a Let Grow Kid!” card for your children to carry when they’re out alone.

Let Grow Kid Card Example 760x212