How to Parent like the Japanese Do?

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

The Japanese’s way of discipline is quite different from the rest of the world, specifically their approach to building the child’s independence, discipline, nest-building and how to support their child.

Their way of discipline is to support autonomy in children and teach the child to live in an ideal way according to society. It is recommended for parents to think about how to change their discipline approach according to the children’s development to achieve autonomy, confidence, and independence.


In situations where there is a conflict involving the children, parents would normally jump in to depend on their child or try to resolve the problem. However, Japanese parents tend to let the children work out their own problems without adult interference. This emphasizes on the children’s ability to solve their own problems.

The same approach is taken when it comes to household chores. Japanese children are expected to do more chores at a young age compared to children in many other countries.


Good discipline plays a pivotal role in the child’s development. From a parent’s development view, discipline is a way to control and shape the child’s behavior. However, viewing it from a child’s point of view, discipline is a burden on them.

Many people look at discipline as “do as I say” and have too many expectations of their child. This mindset may lead to neglect their child’s feelings and instead, think too much about how other people perceive your child. In Japan, parents refer to the act of “shinsuke” to discipline their children.

Instead of having expectations and simply push those expectations on the child, Japanese parents often spend time with their children doing chores and talk to them while doing so. Children often learn good behaviors by intimating what the parents do and how they act in a certain scenario.

Nest-building and feeling

Where as many parents from all around the world can be placed into two categories, authoritative parents and permissive parents, the Japanese parents are considered to be a third type of parents – the nest-building type.

In this respect, their method of enforcing child discipline is to encourage to follow rules not because they have to, or because someone else asks them to, but because in their mind that is the right thing to do. For this development to happen, each family has their own set of rules and which rules are more important. The child will then know which is their core value and will act upon that value.

As the children age, the parents can introduce new sets of value to be suitable for the children’s development. Together with teaching the rules, they also show children how to incorporate those rules into society and how to behave in front of others by being a role model for the children.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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