How Do Japanese Parents Discipline Their Children?

Nabuko Uchida of Child Research Net uses the Japanese concept of "shitsuke" to explain parental discipline of children in Japan. Shitsuke means "discipline" in Japanese. Parents provide children with discipline in order to guide their development until they can manage behavior on their own.

George Bear of the University of Delaware focuses on the differences between child discipline in the United States and Japan. Bear finds that children in the United States fear punishment in regulating their behavior. In Japan, there is greater focus on the impact of the child's behavior on others, and not on themselves.

According to Global Post, Japanese families tend to groom children to conform to the group whereas Americans stress individuality. Bear suggests that both Japan and the United States are simultaneously "individualistic" and "collective." He believes that the difference is in the focus on the relationship between the parent and child in Japan and not on the consequences of behavior. Relationships within the family are the focus. Bear states, "Culturally, when you act out in Japanese society you bring shame to your family."

There is some truth to the notion that Japanese children are indulged by their parents. But Japanese children are also encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of others, which is the key in Japanese discipline of children.