Child Abuse vs. Discipline in Japan

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Children, being the leaders of future generations, have to fill in the gaps of those before them so it is fairly important that children are brought up with the right mindset.The environment of the youth has a great impact as to the way in which they behave especially the culture itself that they are brought up in.This can be displayed when analyzing the Japanese and Western cultures as they have varying differences when it comes to child discipline but as well as have a similarity. Child discipline in Japan and Western culture differs from the laws placed on child discipline.In western countries, legal action can be taken if adults psychologically abuse children which allows children to develop their ability to identify psychological abuse.It is encouraged for children to speak up when they are experiencing psychological abuse. Some states have specific definitions of psychological abuse, for example, Florida recognizes isolation as a form of psychological abuse and adds “...the use of mechanical devices, unreasonable restraints, orextended periods of isolation to control a child…” to the definition of it. I would like to consider child abuse vs discipline the example of Japan and Western countries.

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Hawaii also tries to define psychological abuse by including “...evidence of the child's suffering, ‘extreme mental distress’, and/or ‘gross degradation’.Since western culture clearly outlines what psychological abuse is, it becomes easier for children to identify it.This distinctness makes it easier for them to talk to another adult about the issue and how they identified the issue in the first place.In Japan, there are no written laws against psychologically abusing children which can lead the children to have an inability to identify psychological abuse.In a study consisting of American, Korean, and Japanese mothers they concluded that “Japanese mothers showed the most permissive attitude toward harsh parental behaviours among the three countries on the grounds that they considered a strict and punitive attitude as a method of discipline”.Psychological abuse consists of degrading, threatening, isolation, intimidation, humiliation, and any other actions that can psychologically and emotionally disturb a child. What western legal systems see as psychological abuse, Japan sees as a method of discipline. 

Since Japanese children are brought up thinking psychological abuse is the norm for discipline the line between discipline and abuse becomes blurred making it more difficult for them to  The two different views for the laws on child discipline add to Canadian diversity because the mindset western children are usually raised in encourages children to ask for helpT his mindset can lead those children in non-abusive situations to help those who are.This creates a friendly atmosphere in Canadian diversity where children help and support other children.Japanese and western schools have fairly different rules on how they discipline children.In western culture, schools will usually have a custodial staff to clean up after school which will, in turn, make children lazy or unable to clean up after themselves.Throughout the year’s custodial staff have gone on strikes multiple times because of the low pay they get and in the times of those strikes, students would be walking in a newspaper article, a mother speaks up about how she feels about a strike that happened in 2005, she states that “...janitors have only been picking up only hazardous items on the playground, such as broken glass and needles.As a result, schoolyards have become one of the city's worst cases of garbage pileup.Potato chip bags, pop cans and candy wrappers have accumulated over the winter”.

The issue of garbage pile-ups can be solved if children were not used to the custodians picking up after them.The fact that western schools have custodians also increases the chance of those students littering as seen in the case of their playgrounds being filled with chip bags and cans.The stress students are relieved of because the custodians pick up after them is immense but the students take it for granted and do not learn how to clean In contrast, schools in Japan do not have custodial staff and get the students to clean up the school, this tries to teach the students teamwork and responsibility.In Japan, instead of hiring custodial staff schools allow the students in each class to assign duties to each student and they work together to clean the school (JapanThe Japanese school system tries to instill this form of discipline from a young age, so even elementary children in Japan are cleaning by making a game out of their task to clean the gym floors (Japan night gives students taste of culture).Since nobody wants to learn in a dirty environment, making children clean towards a similar goal teaches them teamwork.

Also, since the students assigned the duties to each other if anyone slacks on their part they will be ridiculed by their peers teaching the student responsibilities.These two contrasting forms of discipline add to Canadian diversity by being so opposite.The Japanese children could learn to relax a bit more from the western children and the western children could learn to clean up after themselves from the Japanese children.   

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