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Parenting Column(記事)

4 Actions Parents Should Avoid When Encouraging their Child to Learn English (Foreign Language)

Although one can learn English (foreign language) when they become an adult, like swimming and piano it is much easier to learn a new language when one is young. As a result, many parents encourage their children to learn English (foreign language) as soon as possible. However, sometimes parents’ actions actually cause their child to dislike the language. In this article, we will introduce some NG actions that parents take without knowing it.


4 NG Actions Taken By Parents that May Lead Their Child to Dislike English

1. Asking them “what did you learn today?”

As parents, we are always interested in finding out what our child learned and what they did during school or extracurricular lessons. However, vague questions like these are hard for children to answer. If you want to see what they learned, it is a good idea to ask to see their text. Then if you need further information, you can ask them a specific question about what is written in the textbook. For example, “Today, you learned about fruits. Which fruit names do you remember?” This type of question is easier for children to answer. When your child answers correctly, make sure to praise them for studying so well.

2. Forcing them to take lessons that they are not interested

English, like swimming and piano, is easier to pick up when young. However, if a child is forced to take lessons when he/she is not interested, it will be difficult for him/her to learn effectively. A child who likes learning Piano and practices will be much better at playing than a child who hates going to the lessons. Instead of starting lessons when your child is not interested, it is better to wait until he/she shows interest.

3. Not showing interest in English and Overseas topics

English learning material and lesson contents often include overseas topics. When children show interest in how people live around the world and global culture, it is important that parents show interest in overseas topics as well. A desire to learn about daily life and culture abroad is a great motivation to study English (foreign language) so parents should support these interests instead of lessening the importance. When possible, parents should research about foreign countries with their child and make them even more excited about learning English and foreign culture.

4. Belittling their child’s English ability

Children’s English (foreign language) is often grammatically incorrect. However, if parents are constantly correcting their child (for not using the past tense correctly, for not using the plural tense correctly, etc.) he/she will not feel comfortable using the language in front of others. As a result, they will end up disliking the language in general. Even if they make some mistakes, it is important that parents praise their child for trying to speak the language in front of them and using the vocabulary that they remember. They will eventually learn the correct grammar so when children are young it is more important for them to gain self-confidence and enjoy using the language.

English (foreign language) is a popular lesson for younger children but first it is important to confirm if your child is interested or not. To encourage your child to like taking the lessons, please help make the learning fun and show interest in what your child is studying.

Parenting Column(記事)

Teaching Shy Children How to Make Friends

Children who have trouble speaking with those around them often also have trouble making new friends when they want to. For these children, it is important that parents help them make friends. In this article, we will introduce some tips to teach shy children that will help them make friends.


Use greetings like “good morning” and “bye-bye” on a regular basis

The first step for shy children to make new friends is to use greetings. By learning to use greetings on a daily basis, they will feel more comfortable talking to others naturally. Parents should teach their children to say a greeting when their eyes meet with others and practice using greetings on a daily basis.

Teach them how to say “Let’s Be Friends” on their own

For shy children, it is often hard to share their feelings with others. However, if they are alone all the time it will be difficult for them to make friends. When making friends, it is necessary to share one’s feelings and thoughts with those around you. The starting point is being able to say “Let’s be friends” to let others know that you want to play with them and enjoy being together. It is important for parents to practice saying the phrase at home so that children are prepared to say it when they want to.

Encourage them to interact with as many people as possible

Kindergartens, day care centers and extracurricular activities are places to go to meet children the same age. Please teach your child to try to interact with as many people as possible when he/she is at these locations. The more people they interact with the more friends they will be able to make and as a result the more they will develop their social skills. At the beginning, it is important to encourage children to not pick and choose but instead to try to become friends with everyone.

Parents often get worried if they learn that their child does not have any friends. However, it is important that parents do not share these feelings with their child. If children see this type of reaction, they will blame themselves and feel pressured. It is important that parents act positive and help their child make friends when possible.

In addition to teaching your child the tips introduced in this article, parents should help them put them into action. One example is to go with your child to the park and make mom friends so that you can get together as a family in the future. Another effective way to help your child make new friends is to go with him/her to an early learning center. It is easy to make friends with the other students in the class naturally. Please take these ideas into consideration for your child’s future development and growth.



ジンボリーの元麻布教室は「孤独のグルメ Season 7 #3」に出ました。ぜひ、ご覧になってください。


Gymboree appeared on the TV program “Kodoku no Gurume”

The Gymboree Play & Music Motoazabu (Tokyo) Site appeared in the famous TV Tokyo program “Kodoku no Gurume” – Season 7 #3.

Parenting Column(記事)

Let’s enjoy Children’s Day – It’s Origin and How to Celebrate It!

May 5th is Children’s Day in Japan. Also known as Boy’s Day, families eat special rice cakes and fly “koi nobori” but few people know the origins of these traditions. In this article, we will explain the origins of Children’s Day and how to celebrate the holiday.

こどもの日を楽しもう! お祝いをする由来とお祝い方法

The Origin of Children’s Day ………Was to protect children from danger!

Currently May 5th is known as “Children’s Day” but historically the holiday was called “Boy’s Day”. The holiday was brought to Japan from China as a holiday to drive away evil spirits. According to the old calendar, the middle of May is the middle of June when referring to today’s calendar. Historically, at this time of year, the weather was getting warmer and many people got sick. As a result, families put up flags to scare the bad spirits away and drank sake. These traditions were brought to Japan and from the Heian period and people displayed Kabuto and dolls and the holiday became an Imperial event.

The Holiday became known as “Boy’s Day” from the Kamakura Period

From the Kamakura Period, Japan entered the age of the Samurai with militarism and flags and as a result they began using the holiday to celebrate boy’s growth and success. This is why many families with boys put out the dolls in May.

In China, there is the saying, “The carp that climbed the Ryumon Waterfall turned into a dragon” and this became the origin of the gate that appears on Boy’s Day. In the Samurai period, when a boy was born they celebrated by raising a flag but from the middle of the Edo period taking into consideration the story about the carp families began raising a carp flag in honor of their sons. In Japan the flying carp (koi nobori) is the main image for Boy’s Day but in China the image is still protecting boys from evil spirits.

When did “Boy’s Day” become known as “Children’s Day” in Japan?

Although “Boy’s Day” is still celebrated by praying for boy’s health and growth, on the Japanese calendar the holiday is currently written as “Children’s Day” instead of “Boy’s Day”. After the war, the Japanese government thought about adding “Children’s Day” as a new holiday to the calendar. At that time, the options of March 3rd and April 1st were brought up, however, since the most popular opinion in government was May 5th, in 1948 the May 5th was declared as “Children’s Day” across the country.

How to enjoy “Children’s Day” as a Family!

Since Children’s Day is held on the same day as Boy’s Day many families celebrate their sons on this day. Families who have a son raise a carp flag (koi nobori) and set up their May dolls. Also to celebrate children’s health and growth they eat special rice cakes (chimaya kashiwamochi) and special fish like “suzuki” or “buri”.

Eating chimaki is believed to chase away the evil spirts and kashiwamochi is believed to lead to the prosperity of descendants.

The holiday has always been about praying for children’s health and growth but the celebratory activities have continued to change along with the changes in our society. During war years and the Edo period when there were still Samurai in Japan, families taught their boys how to fight and instill the Samurai spirit. This was considered early education during these historical periods. In recent years, our society has become more global and there is a greater need for children to learn English. More and more families are encouraging their children to learn English from a young age. It is important that parents pay attention to the new trends in society and make sure their children are prepared for what is to come.

家族で楽しもう! こどもの日のお祝い方法
Parenting Column(記事)

What is learned in the cradle is carried to the grave! Things parents of children under 3 years old should watch out for when parenting.

In Japan, we have the proverb, “What is learned in the cradle is carried to the grave!” This means that what children learn before they are 3 years old will remain with them for the rest of their lives. During the Edo period, people believed that one’s way of being is determined by the time they are 3 years old.

These proverbs show the importance of early education and teaching your child as much as possible before they turn 3 years old. In this article, we will share tips that parents should keep in mind when raising their child within the first few years.

三つ子の魂百まで! 3歳までの子育てで親が注意したいこと

Research why early education is important!

In general, a child’s body growth continues until he/she is 18 or 20 years old. However, 80% of one’s brain growth is completed by the time a child turns 3 and 90% of his/her brain growth is completed by the time he/she is 6 years old. This means that one’s personality and thought pattern is determined by the time a child turns 3 years old.

From the olden days, Japanese people have believed that how children were raised in their first years will have a great impact on their future personality. A famous Japanese proverb says “emotions are developed by one’s 3rd birthday, manners are developed by one’s 6th birthday, words by one’s 9th birthday, writing by one’s 12th birthday and one’s principals as an individual are developed by one’s 15th birthday.

The proverb, “What is learned in the cradle is carried to the grave”, has also been proved by research performed at the University of Minnesota. Researchers at the University of Minnesota have interviewed more than 260 parent and child pairs over many years. The results show that the majority of children who had tantrums and were aggressive towards others experienced negative parenting when they were young.

The basics of good parenting when one’s child is under 3 years old are: “praise”, “keeping your child company” and “avoiding denial”!

By the time a child turns 3 years old, his/her compassion and endurance, manners and life rhythm and basic lifestyle are developed. In order to raise a child that is patient and thoughtful it is important that parents act as a role model and show these traits in their daily lives.

If you want your child to show interest in reading and English (foreign language), you should also show interest in these subjects and enjoy performing them with your child.

Also, as the research from the University of Minnesota shows, how parents interact with their child during these years is very important. If children feel that they are no good when they are growing up they will most likely take these feelings with them when they get older. So it is important that parents do what they can to make their child feel good about themselves.

As a result, it is important that parents praise their child instead of acting negatively toward their actions. Parents should follow their child’s interests and join them in the activities when possible. This will help children feel that they are being loved and feel good about themselves.

One’s subconscious is also developed at the age of 3! Parents need to be careful about the following!

By the time a child turns 3 years old, his/her subconscious (the foundation of his/her thoughts and actions) is developed. If parents do not show particular feelings to what is happening around them their children will do the same. However, if parents continue to ask their child why things happen, he/she will develop a proactive thought pattern.

So, it is important that parents do not take actions that they do not want their child to copy while their child is in the room. In particular, they should avoid making negative comments about others while they are with their child.

3歳で潜在意識も形成される! 親の行動にも注意が必要
Parenting Column(記事)

Early childhood education improves children’s independence! What parents can do to encourage their child’s independence.

Many parents want their child to grow up independent knowing what they are interested in and going after their dreams. Research shows that early childhood learning plays an important role in encouraging children’s independence. In this article, we will introduce tips for helping children gain their independence through early childhood learning.

Early childhood education improves children’s independence! What parents can do to encourage their child’s independence.

3 Tips for Encouraging a Child’s Independence through Early Learning

・Teach your child the foundation only
To encourage your child’s independence, it is important that parents do not teach them steps 1-10 from the beginning. Sharing with them only the basics to begin with will grab their interest and encourage them to think on their own.

On the other hand, children who grow up dependent on others will be more likely to wait for someone to provide the answer instead of thinking on their own. Since the goal is to encourage independence, it is important that parents stop after teaching their child the basics. If parents do everything for their child, it will be difficult for him/her to become independent.

・Encourage your child to think for him/herself
In addition to gaining independence it is important for children to learn how to think for themselves. It is the parents’ job to give them hints so that they move in the right direction. However, many parents are afraid that their child will make a mistake and get too involved. As a result, we often see the case where a parent forces their thoughts on their child and ends up doing everything for them. Even though the child is trying to figure out how to do things on his/her own their parent often ends up interrupting and doing everything for them.

If parents always decide that their child cannot do it on their own and do it for them, it will be difficult for their child to become independent. From the parents’ point of view, their child will always be their child but he or she is developing every day. If they want him/her to become independent, it is important that they step back and let their child figure things out for themselves.

It is important that parents are careful to not impose their thoughts on their children so much that their child waits for their parents or an adults answer before trying to do something on their own.

・Accept your child’s personality
Each child is not a replica of his/her parents and he/she has his/her own personality. Even if their personality is very different than their parents it is important that they are accepted for who they are. An individual’s interests and autonomy are greatly influenced by their personality. If you want your child to gain autonomy it is important that you do not interfere with his/her thoughts and actions.

For example, a parent may want his/her child to wear red clothes even though their child may prefer wearing blue clothes. In this case, if the parent forces their child to wear red clothes, he/she will be suppressing his/her likes and personality.

Let’s be careful not to force our beliefs and thoughts on our children and instead allow them to become their own individual! This does not mean that you need to allow your child to do whatever he/she wants and say whatever he/she wants all the time. There is a difference between “neglecting them” and “watching over them”. Of course, it is necessary to stop them if they are bothering or hurting others. The important point is to step back and give them room to think and act for themselves.

Children who grow up independent will be better able to use their power and beliefs to their advantage when they get older. Also, independence is something children develop as they grow up and is difficult to acquire as an adult. How much parents get involved and offer help when their child is young will greatly influence their child’s personality.

We recommend attending an early learning center with your child because it will give him/her the chance to learn new things, make new friends and interact with people of many ages and backgrounds. These activities will help your child establish his/her own personality. Early learning centers that teach classes in English have the added benefit of helping your child become interested in language and communication. Please try taking your child to an early learning center and help him/her gain independence!

3 Tips for Encouraging a Child’s Independence through Early Learning
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