Saturday, January 8, 2011

Japanese Parenting

I'm beginning to wonder about the parenting skills of the Japanese. Before you accuse me of prejudice (because, by definition, prejudice is belief without basis), let me give you the bases.

Let's start with the Baby Mop. Defenders of this home cleaning product claim there's no child exploitation involved. The baby is doing what he does best: crawling. But with Baby Mop he's also learning responsibility and a healthy work ethic.

I suppose. I do recall my kids making huge messes as babies, so I guess it could be considered justifiable in some warped 'get even' mentality.

I'm not so sure about the Japanese Baby Crying Contest. It's a 400 year old tradition where mothers hand their babies over to amateur Sumo wrestlers who hold and jostle them with the goal of making them cry. The thought is that the baby who cries the loudest and the longest is in the best health.

Maybe physical health. What about their mental health? Look at those pictures! The babies may be mentally scarred for life.

Now if they were a little older, perhaps teenagers, I would feel differently.

I can consider some scenarios where I would enter my teenage daughter into a Teenager Crying contest. In fact, Just the threat of entry into a Teenager Crying Contest could do wonders in shaping teen behaviors...even more so than the "I'm taking away your phone" threat.

"If you don't stop (insert negative behavior), I'm going to sign you up for the Columbia Teenager Crying Contest!"

And if the threat of having an amateur Sumo Wrestler holding and jostling you doesn't work on your teenager, we'll have to revert to Plan B.

The Teenager Dust Mop.

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