Japanese Study: Engaged Parents Raise Happy, Affluent Kids

(Photo: Vera Kratochvil, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Vera Kratochvil, Creative Commons)

A new study from Japan has found that children who get authentic engagement from their parents have increased levels of happiness, higher incomes, higher grades, and a stronger moral compass.

Katrina Pascual, writing for Tech Times, reports that research team leaders Nishimura Kazuo of Kobe University and Yagi Tadashi of Doshisha University Faculty of Economics examined the consequences of current Japanese parenting practices. They questioned 5,000 women and men about their parental relationships during their childhoods, using questions like "My parents trusted me" or "I felt like my family had no interest in me."

The key factors the researchers focused on were parents' lack of interest, rules, independence, trust, time spent between parents and children and disciplinary incidents.

Using their survey findings, the group of scientists divided parenting techniques into six categories. They were: Supportive, Harsh, Strict, Average, Indulgent, and Easygoing.

The researchers found that kids who were brought up by "supportive" parents had high salary rates, better academic accomplishments, and increased happiness levels.

Strict parents were more likely to have children who made high salaries and did well academically, but had reduced happiness levels and increased levels of stress.

The research was presented at the Japanese policy think tank Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI). The project was titled Fundamental Research for Sustainable Economic Growth in Japan.

A different study that took place in 2015 suggested parenting style and the social situations in which young people live could influence children's chances of becoming obese. The scientists cited parenting and poverty as significant predictors of health and weight in childhood.

Indulgent parents, according to the study, had high or average levels of trust and were not at all strict. They spent an average or above average amount of time with their children.

Parents described as Easygoing had low levels of interest in their kids, were not strict, spent small amounts of time with their youngsters, and had few rules.

Harsh mothers and fathers showed little interest in their progeny, allowed their children little independence, had low levels of trust in their kids, and were strict, reports Kobe University for ScienceCodex.

Last year in an article for Time Magazine, Maryanne Murray Buechner wrote about her observations of parenting in Japan after she moved there with her husband and two boys. She said about a year after she moved, her son wandered off. She finally found her son in front of a nearby store.

Though she felt contrite about the incident and her son was a bit afraid, she knew he had never been in danger since kids his age in Tokyo make their way about the city alone all the time. She said she learned quickly that Japanese parents expect their children to be independent.

The young ones go to school by themselves even if that trip entails taking a bus or train. The country's crime rate is extremely low, so the children are safe, and the people in the communities watch out for one another.

She also learned that in Japan, a parent does not boast about his or her children. There is no public display of affection, but Japanese families sleep, shop, and even soak in public baths together.

She watched as Japanese children calmly and peacefully navigated crowded spaces while her kids jostled, rushed, and made noise. And she said that American moms who move to Japan will need to improve their lunch packing skills before coming. Children's bento box meals are healthy, pretty, and elaborate.

06 22, 2016
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