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Basic Survey on Child Rearing in Japan I - 2

Basic Survey on Child Rearing in Japan I
PICKUP DATA 2 Discipline and relationships are important issues. Peer relationships are a major concern (Table 2).

Table2
10 Major Concerns in Child Rearing

  (%)
How to praise and scold children 59.6
Peer relationships 52.5
Discipline 49.1
Hearty meals and nutritional balance 41.7
Mothers' personal relationships 41.5
Children's characters, attitudes and manners 40.1
Children's eating habits (poor appetite/unbalanced diet) 39.9
Satisfaction with lifestyle and desire to start something new 39.8
Sanitary food preparation 39.2
Table manners 37.2
Issues of concern for mothers' child rearing practices:
  • Praising and Scolding Children
  • Peer Relationships
The biggest concern for mothers about their own child rearing practices was how to praise and scold their children (59.6%). Peer relationships ranked second and are related to children's characters, attitudes, and manners. This indicates parents' concerns about their children's relationships with friends at school. Four of the ten top-ranking concerns had to do with meals and eating habits. The mothers' own relationships with their mothers-in-law, relatives, neighbors, in regard to child-rearing ranked fifth. Mothers' satisfaction with their lifestyles or desire to start something new (39.8%), after their children entered school ranked eighth.

Changing concerns by grade, gender, and birth order
Mothers' concerns change as their children increase in age. Generally, mothers are more concerned about their first child than their second child or younger. When children enter primary school, mothers become particularly concerned about the ability of the child to greet and thank others.

Some gender differences also appeared. Mothers of boys are 1.5 to 1.7 times more concerned with disciplining their children about changing clothes, wetting pants and toilet manners than mothers of girls. Mothers of boys are also worried about other daily habits such as, brushing teeth, washing hands, and table manners, in addition to being concerned about allergies. On the other hand, mothers of girls are more concerned about monitoring homework and after-school lessons. Particularly, how to choose and give private lessons and teaching materials. Understandably, this is related to the fact that girls account for 72.3% (boys are 27.7%) of children who take after-school piano or other music lessons that require daily practice.

PICKUP DATA 3 Both school and family are responsible for socialization. Children learn daily habits at home, while school and home are both responsible for academic learning, daily habits, and manners (Table 3).

Table 3
Discipline of Children at School and Home X School Grade

Pattern A

    Parents discipline at home Parents and teachers discipline at home and school Teachers discipline at school Teachers at preparatory schools discipline No need for discipline
(1) Regular habits such as wake-up time and bedtime
Pre-school Lower grade 95.9 3.6 0.0 0.2 0.3
Middle grade 97.1 2.6 0.0 0.0 0.3
Upper grade 96.7 3.2 0.0 0.0 0.1
Primary School 1st grade 97.4 2.1 0.0 0.0 0.5
2nd grade 97.6 2.2 0.0 0.0 0.2
(2) Balanced diet and good table manners
Pre-school Lower grade 64.3 35.1 0.3 0.0 0.3
Middle grade 72.2 27.0 0.1 0.0 0.7
Upper grade 72.4 26.8 0.1 0.0 0.7
Primary School 1st grade 84.5 15.3 0.0 0.0 0.2
2nd grade 87.3 12.3 0.0 0.0 0.4
(3) Take care of oneself
Pre-school Lower grade 56.3 40.2 0.5 0.2 2.8
Middle grade 62.6 34.9 0.1 0.0 2.4
Upper grade 64.6 34.1 0.2 0.0 1.1
Primary School 1st grade 72.9 24.7 0.2 0.0 2.2
2nd grade 74.0 24.8 0.1 0.0 1.1
(4) Greeting or thanking others politely
Pre-school Lower grade 55.2 44.3 0.2 0.0 0.3
Middle grade 59.6 39.5 0.3 0.0 0.6
Upper grade 59.1 40.8 0.1 0.0 0.0
Primary School 1st grade 68.0 31.7 0.2 0.0 0.1
2nd grade 68.7 31.2 0.0 0.0 0.1

Pattern B

    Parents discipline at home Parents and teachers discipline at home and school Teachers discipline at school Teachers at preparatory schools discipline No need for discipline
(5) Motivation and incentives to study
Pre-school Lower grade 9.5 79.9 4.3 0.0 6.3
Middle grade 10.8 81.9 3.2 0.1 4.0
Upper grade 10.1 81.0 3.6 0.5 4.8
Primary School 1st grade 4.1 88.9 5.1 0.0 1.9
2nd grade 4.9 88.1 5.9 0.0 1.1
(6) Stimulating the child's potential
Pre-school Lower grade 10.7 78.3 3.8 2.7 4.5
Middle grade 12.2 80.1 2.7 1.6 3.4
Upper grade 9.7 81.1 4.5 1.7 3.0
Primary School 1st grade 10.4 81.8 2.5 1.2 4.1
2nd grade 7.9 84.5 3.8 2.0 1.8
(7) Relationship with others including friends
Pre-school Lower grade 14.6 79.3 0.6 0.2 5.3
Middle grade 15.7 77.5 0.6 0.0 6.2
Upper grade 17.4 75.5 1.5 0.0 5.6
Primary School 1st grade 17.1 76.4 0.5 0.0 6.0
2nd grade 14.5 79.4 0.4 0.0 5.7
(8) Thoughtfulness for the weak and sense of ethics
Pre-school Lower grade 25.0 73.3 1.1 0.0 0.6
Middle grade 25.7 73.4 0.6 0.0 0.3
Upper grade 24.7 73.9 1.1 0.0 0.3
Primary School 1st grade 22.2 77.1 0.5 0.0 0.2
2nd grade 21.8 77.2 0.4 0.1 0.5
Many parents responded that they should instill daily habits and manners in their children at home: regular wake-up time and bedtime; balanced diet and good table manners; independence and how to take care of oneself; how to greet or thank others politely (Pattern A).

Family and school should support children's studies and socialization together.
As shown in Pattern B, both parents and teachers should motivate children to study and give them incentives that stimulate the child's potential; teach them about relationships with others including friends; and instill a sense of ethics. However, since the survey covered children from pre-school to the second grade, there was a difference in the mothers' awareness by working status as well as by the children's grade.

PICKUP DATA 4 Friends and teachers provide information. Housewives depend more on friends and acquaintances in the neighborhood; while full-time working mothers depend on teachers.

Mothers rely on friends and acquaintances in the neighborhood, their own mothers, spouses and teachers for information (Table 4).


Table4
Mothers' Perspectives on Life and Child Rearing

  (%)
Friends and acquaintances in the neighborhood 73.8
Pre-school or primary school teachers 49.1
Their own mothers 48.7
Spouses 42.3
Newspapers 37.4
Television 31.1
Friends not living in the neighborhood 27.6
Family and relatives other than mothers or mothers-in-law 25.6
Mothers-in-law 22.2
Their own children 15.1
Mothers get information on discipline and education from a variety of sources as shown above. However, the most reliable sources of information were: (1) friends and acquaintances in the neighborhood, (2) spouses, (3) their own mothers, (4) pre-school or primary school teachers, (5) friends not in the neighborhood and (6) family and relatives other than mothers and mothers-in-law.

Depending upon their working status, mothers get reliable information from different sources. Housewives depend more on their spouse, friends and acquaintances in the neighborhood, while full-time working mothers depend more on teachers, their own mothers and friends not in their neighborhood, partly because they do not have much time to spend with friends in the neighborhood. Part-time workers were between these two groups.

Role models and relationship to information source
As role models, mothers cited (1) their own mothers, (2) friends and acquaintances in the neighborhood, and (3) mothers of their children's friends. Except for spouses, mothers-in-law and teachers, they get most information from people whom they see as role models. Mothers formed their own information networks and learned from good friends or their elders who have experience with child rearing.

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