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Home, not teachers, responsible for violent children


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
A new study by the Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology reveals:

Home, not teachers, responsible for violent children

Homes, not teachers, are responsible for children who impulsively get out of control or become violent for no clear reason, according to a report on a survey by the National Institute for Educational Policy Research released Thursday. After analyzing cases of such behavior, the affiliate of the Ministry of Education, Sports, Culture, Science and Technology said in the survey the cause is an "inappropriate upbringing at home" and a "tense situation at home" such as friction between parents. Only 5% of such cases were based on "inappropriate treatment by teachers," which was at the bottom of the list of reasons, according to the survey. However, some education and child experts question the study, which is the first of its kind. They said it is "lenient" toward teachers because many of the cases analyzed by the institute include those reported by teachers across Japan. The survey was conducted between February and August last year and covered cases involving 654 children, including infants, elementary, junior and senior high school students. The uncontrollable behavior was reported by school nurses, teachers participating in student counseling and guidance and police officers in charge of juvenile criminal cases. The survey analyzes the personal histories of children and families. It concludes that in 76% of the cases, the cause was an inappropriate upbringing at home, followed by 64% in which the cause was tension in the home. Twenty-seven percent of the cases were started by misbehavior such as juvenile delinquency, 24% by violence at home and another 24% by problems between friends. Twenty percent were caused by inappropriate treatment by family members in response to such misbehavior. Fewer of the causes related to school compared to the home. Eighteen percent of the cases were caused by academic problems, 17% by bullying by friends while only 5% were based on inappropriate treatment by teachers. Concerning where children went out of control, the survey says 49% of the cases occurred at school and only 15% occurred at home. However, the institute did not include those figures in the report on the survey, saying they are not surprising as many of the cases were reported by teachers. Naoki Ogi, a former teacher-turned-education critic, said the research methods of the study are questionable because it views personality problems as the root of the misbehavior. The uncontrollable conduct should be perceived as a temporary reaction and children's backgrounds should not be emphasized in searching for causes, Ogi added. "Even if there are problems concerning the environment at home, children do not become violent at school if the children and teachers have a mutual trust," Ogi said. "The survey fails to look into what triggered the situations in which they went wild, which is much more important than their life histories." (Compiled from news reports)

Do they have a lot of children with ADD and disorders like that over there like there seems to be over here?
You can never point the finger at only one source. If it were solely a home problem then there would be more domestic violence in the household. IMHO its a lack of parenting inconjunction with an educational system which is completly inept at dealing with fundamental sociological issues.
Problems which have arisen in recent years stem back further than the current genereation, to at a minimum, one generation back. What needs to happen is NOT more strict laws or tough love, but to provide these kids with a sense of accomplishment, as well as listening, a skill most people do not seem to exhibit (I know you can hear me, but are you listneing?).
In a system that thrives on processing kids through an "education" system, and sets threshold that which only a minority may survive and become successful, stress is at an all time high. Is the mere intention of school a survival in a gray existence without so much as any acknowledgement of accomplishment for the roads treaded thus far? Whats one student from another but number?
Its clearly evident of the dispair and depression, resulting from this that students are experienceing, just as the kobe murderer had so succinctly put it, stating that the "compulsory education, which produced him as a transparent existence, and the society that created it." You can clearly see these kids feel as if they are, "nothing more than a brick in the wall," Pink Floyd.
what's that?

@pointing fingers
How true. But the problem is that survey is from the Ministry of Education.

@other points
You really know the truth of what is happening in Japan at times since the media doesn't jump on every single little bit of juicy information. If anything, I'd say domestic violence against kids is on the rise. I've seen more news stories which might be the reason, too, though.

I agree this current generation of adults is a major factor in this right now. Not the previous generation, though. If anything, that generation still holds the rigorous work ethic and manners that you saw in the US 1950s. Parents today are too busy still being kids themselves and enjoying life more than allowing their kids to enjoy life.

Sorry, I disagree. Looking at the surrounding teachers I work with, I'd say quite a few are trying their best to help their students. I know several teachers who can name almost every student they teach without referring to their role books. I can't even come close. Yes, education is rigorous, but recently, the Ministry of Education put into effect the 5 day school week. A simpler and much stupider curriculum (curriculum is a mistake, I believe, since many parents will try to off-set this with [juku]s, cram schools and home tutors. In a recent newspaper article, Sapporo introduced a new report system for the students that mention much more than just grades. It mentions more about their personal progress. The educational system does have its problems, but it's not the demon some want to make it out to be.

Ah hell, compulsory education stops at Jr. High School. He's just using that to gain sympathy. I never thought I'd be this strongly defending education since I bash on it all the time. In this case, I don't really see where education is creating such a big problem. It's the parents!

Parents, let's define an age group here. I'd say young parents up to about late 30's have some serious problems. Yep, I'm in the 30's group.

You've got many relatively young parents who are much more interested in their personal "playtime" lives than their children's. But, like anywhere, they push the blame off on education. Sure, they see their parents with money, and they too want to share in that wealth. Look at all the young girls with brand name items. (this was discussed in another thread) Of course, there is some reasoning behind it, but buying a house and a car is no longer high priorities. My wife's friend lives in [danchi] public housing ghetto-like buildings. Recently she went back to work and put her kids into daycare. She then found a job and herself a US$1000 Vuitton bag, a $20,000 car, and for her husband, a $3,000 Rolex. My wife does have Vuitton, but even she just sat back and shook her head in disbelief. She mentioned that her friend Mariko put her kids in daycare because she didn't want to go through the hassle of taking care of them all day and enjoying work more.

Yeah, stress may be at a high in some ways, but not really. In reality, the stress is more on the working class to maintain their jobs in the life-long employment system going belly up. Your job is no longer safe, and many people are getting fired, error, laid off or rotated to the window watching jobs. This stress may be affecting the family, but children don't really face that much stress.

Also, recently, I was discussing children playing outside and another [juku] teacher told me something that she had just run into. She was visiting her students home [kateihomu] (pretty typical, where teachers visit their students home to understand better their way of life and possible problems that may affect their schooling) and noticed that her student was playing PlayStation with 6 or 7 of his friends. She asked the mother why they weren't outside playing. The mother replied that if her son played outside, he might get sun-stroke. Then the same juku-teacher mentioned that many children have less and fewer sweat pores. (lol, I wonder how scientific that is) And she mentioned that children today who play too many videogames are delaying their brain development due to lack of sunlight. (I laughed because how can the effect of playing video games delay the development of the frontal lob???)

So I really don't think that education is really that bad as the media or books want you to believe.
Well I didn't mean to generalize. I simply meant for problem kids, which is always the exception. And I never meant that all teachers were bad, simplay that every basket has its share of rotten apples. For the most part, serious problems anywhere are not prevalent because most people fall in the gray area. When you combine a series of bad situations, parents, teachers and kids, thats when you reach a breaking point and an instant headline is sure to come.

As for the sweat pores, theres a little truth to that. It all depends on how fit you keep yourself. If you become lazy like I do from time to time, its harder for you to break a sweat when you suddenly decide you want to exercise. Where as on the contrary, you can break a sweat in an instant sweat by jogging to your car in the parking lot. But then thats just me, for a real scientific like answer go ask your PE teacher:D

Now I'm a gamer so I take that personally and I think its quite the opposite. Take a look at the most recent forms of military training, video simulations, whats that? Another fancy name for video games. Video games help to develop strong neural pathways between hand-eye coordination, so nyah!:) Also these games are always puzzles so you have to keep on your toes if ou wat to finish it. But if she meant development in terms of experiences, shes half right, the kids do need to get out. But then again have you ever played tekken or John madded football with some friends over? Its a real hoot and when people start talking trash, well thats when the real fun begins.

Gamer :)
lol ... I started on pong and wasted all my summer cash on Space Invaders.

True, I do agree that games do have their good points. Hey, I own Play Station, DreamCast and my computer was full of games. I erased them since I would play through the night.

But, you really gotta see it over here. Kids play for hours and hours without even setting a foot outside the door. My biggest problem with games is the amount of time playing vs the amount of time playing outside with friends. I'm sure that's not too parental, is it?

Although there has been an increase in crimes by kids who can't really discriminate between virtual and reality.

3 years back (3km from my home).
2 brothers stole a car, stabbed the used car dealer, and tried to get away. Game Over -- Big Boss Wins!! The idea was to steal a car at knifepoint: Stabb, the attendant. Drive to Tokyo. (Ummm ... they didn't realize that the tunnel is only for trains, and taking the ferry wasn't in the game) And get an autograph from a celebrity. To them, it was a game.

Sure, that's going to extremes, but that's why I believe a mixture is essential.


I'm all for kids razing hell outside. Break a window or 2 (apologize or don't get caught). And TP the neighbour's car, not mine, eh!

My students, who I tell my stories to, look at me like I'm a devil or something when I tell them about all the gags, raisin hell, and fun I had. The only prank we have in common is knocking on somebody's door and running like hell.

However, on the bright side, I've seen lots of kids outside this year. :)
I think theres' a real difference between letting kids play games for fun and letting games become the in-house babysitter just like the tv, which is all too often the case. Yes, fresh air is good for the lungs! With the size of apartments over there, I'm surprised they don't get cabin fever.

Yeah, I've had my share of hell-raizing, and I must admit, it was much more fun than playing video games. But I can honestly say, I'm glad I outgrew that stage rather quickly:)
The Japanese cannot admit that their country is corupting and becoming just like all the western countrys, problems like this were not common before western influences came in, this may be why it is so hard to be a guijin, I bet most of you have seen Jackass, that is how some american's act in Japan and think it is funny, it is really a shame because it ruins the image of the american for people who are interseted in the culture, many even say they are german or another nationality to avoid that! there is arguements on both sieds of this case, are western influences corupting Japan or liberating them and bringing them down to earth with great struggle?
I think parents of children who are spoiled and destructive are too blame. The child learns from an early age what he/she can get away with. If the parent gives in to their child a basis of right and wrong or any kind of lesson on manners. That parent is responsible for that child's actions. If they let the child go unsupervised and undisciplined, they are responsible. Parents are too lazy or scared to teach their children anything these days.
Their lives are too full of their own interests. These children sense that early on. The children learn what they can do and do it if not properly guided or nurtured by their parents. It is very hard to see children so aimless and hopeless. I see it all the time.
I think the education system has some responsibility when they teach these children by example. Children learn by observing adults rather than taking their word for what they say.
sorry, I meant if the parent always gives in to the child and never teaches that child a basis of wrong and right, that child is never given a chance really to learn how to be a productive citizen. A child will never lose that selfish drive.
someone said something like this before : '50% if your character is born with. 50% of the rest is what the environment you live in influences you. and thats your character.'
I think there are some really good points made here. I'm gonna cop out and say behaviour of children is a responsibility of parents and teachers. But of course, if they have no discipline at home, the teachers have a more difficult job trying to keep a discipline in school.

On a side note, there is Vitamin D from sunlight. Kids need to get enough sun! :p :atsui:

her friend Mariko put her kids in daycare because she didn't want to go through the hassel of taking care of them all day and that she enjoys work more.

There are many mothers in the UK who feel like that, too, although it's rare to hear them put it in those same words.
Parents are responsible, teachers are responsible, that's all aimless fishing for scapegoats. A society, especially a society like Japan, leaves an individual only so much room for his personal choices in life. It's tremendously difficult to swim against the stream, as parent, child or whatever; moreover, if *everyone* tried to strain against toxic societal structures, said society would rupture. The underlying causes for the problems discussed in the posts above are so incredibly large-scale that they are practically impossible to solve. Especially since the Japanese government, as usual, tries to divert attention from the inherent system fractures, because the status quo is seen as best for the national economy. But, as always, when societal pressure has grown enough, the system will break down, probably very painfully.
Having taught at public schools in Japan for years now...

There is something important about this article that needs to be pointed out. Traditionally, teachers are help responsible for the discipline of their students.

Allow me to illustrate.

At the first parent-teacher conference I attended, I was very surprised to see parents scolding the teachers for their lack of control of their children in class. The kids in question had massive authority issues. (Running out of the classroom, setting off fireworks in school, throwing desks out the window, etc.) Having grown up in America, where teachers are normally the ones bitching about the kids, I was shocked to see the reverse. Some of my teachers even quietly suggested to the parents that their child might have a learning disorder and should consider sending him to a special school. The parents, however, would have none of it, and consequently I've seen the same students proceed to kick teachers, call the vice principal babasan, and steal from the teachers room.


Perhaps it would make an interesting discussion to speculate WHY teachers are expected to have the responsiblity of disciplining students.
Hm... that might contain some cultural issues, for example the high standing a teacher has in confucian ethics which may still impact on contemporary society.

But it may also be a societal issue... for example, in Germany, we have a tendency of parents delegating the responsibility for their children to the state or the private hand. Being themselves unable or unwilling to afford the time educating children would take, or not having gathered the life-experience and virtues child-rearing requires themselves, they demand increasingly day-care, day-long schooling programmes etc. Of course, that demands implicitly that teachers also take responsibility for forming the childrens' character, because somebody just has to do it.

The problem is that teachers are not only too few in numbers, many are also (in my oppinion) hardly qualified for even teaching a class in their specialty subjects, much less for providiung moral and ethical support for developing personalities (some cynical oppinions are that many people become teachers just because they are good at eg. French and can't think of anything else to do; because teachers are officials in Germany with all the securities that affords; or maybe because they are just too afraid or too socially inept to live outside the "school cosmos".)
Juv crime Teacher's or parents?

Parents, teachers, peers, and the individual all have parts to play. Obviously genetics and one's personal environment have a lot to do with how we turn out. Having good role models is crucal, but actually the parents pushing this duty onto the teachers seems lame. This should be a shared duty, what happened before the kids started school?

Recently I seem to see more spoiled kids. Older Japanese tell me their parents would cuff them in the head if they were caught doing some of the things I have seen recently, ie.e kids running around on the train/ in a sushi bar, throwing their food, talking back to their parents. Maybe the parents aren't strict enough, or are strict about the wrong things (like making good grades, etc.) rather than letting kids enjoy themselves and lead a balanced life between physical/mental and free and structured activities.

It's difficult, life has gotten too fast, technology makes it easier to do things, but that doesn't mean everyone can cope with the speed and stress that globalization brings.
One thing I have noticed with some, (but not all) modern Japanese families with young children. The Dad is working so much, he does not spend a lot of time with the children and when he comes home, he is often so over-worked that last thing he wants to do is deal with any discipline issues with the children.

The Mom on the other hand, in some ways feels sorry for the child for whatever reason and does not want to administer good old-fashioned discipline (not necessarily corporal punishment), but at least teaching right from wrong.
How many times in Japan have you seen a misbehaved child doing something you just know is not right, and the Mom sees it and does next to nothing about it?
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Uchite said:
How many times in Japan have you seen a misbehaved child doing something you just know is not right, and the Mom sees it and does next to nothing about it?

I've flat out asked some Japanese parents about this before. Their logic was this:

Since life in Japan is extremely stressful - i.e., the exam hell of school (minus the four-odd years doing nothing in college), followed by endless unpaid overtime work at their company - parents want to let their children have stress-free fun while they can.

Seems like a cop-out to me, but take it for what you will...
Recently, my son and I went to a game center, where my son played two games of Mushiking. He played his first game, and while he was playing his first game, another boy came in also to play Mushiking. After my son finished his game, I told him that he should let the other boy have a turn. So this boy, age about six, takes his turn, and during his game, asks his mother for one more coin to play again. The mother suggested the boy let my son take a turn, the boy just glared and got angry at his mother, to which the mother gave him a coin. I couldn't believe it! Anyways, I looked at the boy, and the boy after having a look at me, decided to let my son have a turn. This kind of mother/child relationship isn't so uncommon here in Japan.
The mother suggested the boy let my son take a turn, the boy just glared and got angry at his mother, to which the mother gave him a coin. I couldn't believe it!

I see this with some Japanese adults, regularly! They have to be reminded that someone is waiting, otherwise some will continue playing.
Uchite said:
One thing I have noticed with some, (but not all) modern Japanese families with young children. The Dad is working so much, he does not spend a lot of time with the children and when he comes home, he is often so over-worked that last thing he wants to do is deal with any discipline issues with the children.
The Mom on the other hand, in some ways feels sorry for the child for whatever reason and does not want to administer good old-fashioned discipline (not necessarily corporal punishment), but at least teaching right from wrong.
How many times in Japan have you seen a misbehaved child doing something you just know is not right, and the Mom sees it and does next to nothing about it?

I saw it on the news today that the father's style of parenting is a crucial factor of how children turn out.
Yes, but the educational system still should not be overlooked. I went to study at a Japanese junior high, and it was just irritating. The lack of diciplin you will not believe, especially when it came to my home room teacher back then. She was nice, but too nice. People talking during entire classes, walking in and out... In some parts, it still is this way. Our school in particular had the worst reputation in our town. Apparently, a couple years before I started going there, several student arrests were made.

Of course home is the most important place to educate and give a child moral values, but it's not like nothing can be done at school, too. I often wish it was as diciplined as it appears to be in South Korea.
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