“My first commission”: a Japanese reality show broadcast by Netflix abandons tiny children on public transport

    Hiroki, an adorable 2-year-old boy, is sent to a local supermarket.
Hiroki, an adorable 2-year-old boy, is sent to a local supermarket.

The Series “Old enough” – “Mi primer mandado”is the Spanish title that Netflix broadcasts it with – it will probably have some parents’ hearts in its mouth … The show showcases the first adult adventures of 2- or 3-year-olds to do tasks like grocery shopping, walk 1.5 kilometers to and from home, and drive public transport on their own.

The cameras follow the boy from afar as he runs errands and challenges from his parents and the creators of the show.

The Japanese series has been a hit on local television for over 30 years and The first season is now available on Netflix This content was shot in 2013. Each segment, which ranges from 8 to 20 minutes, focuses on one child.

The length of the episodes is explained by the enormous level of preparation that each task entails. All errand routes are inspected by parents and production staff for dangerous or “suspicious” routes. The children are chosen after a laborious selection process, the camera team and the security team go into hiding so that the children do not discover them and all the residents of the area are informed of the task, so that they do not get scared and call the police when they see a four-year-old boy wandering the streets aimlessly.

In the opening episode, Hiroki, an adorable 2-year-old boy, is sent to a local supermarket. His mother sends him on a mission with a 1,000 yen ($ 8) bill in his pocket. He tells her to buy fish cakes, curries and a bouquet of flowers.

The little one has to buy a fish pie, curry and a bouquet of flowers.
The little one has to buy a fish pie, curry and a bouquet of flowers.

The Netflix version uses subtitles to translate comments. Hiroki succeeds, and the boy’s pride in his actions and increased confidence in him are heartwarming to watch. He showed great independence and earned a pat on the back from his parents.

The children’s adventures in “Old Enough” are carefully planned by the production and their families well in advance. If something goes wrong, the camera and security teams are trained to take action.

Part of the appeal is the show’s ability to instill confidence in children. They are all between the ages of two and six and are almost always scared to death when they first go out. Rightly so, because walking a mile to a store alone can be a terrifying prospect for a young child. However, the big knockout that usually comes at the end is a newfound pride in their skills. The children were in a relationship, they didn’t help them, and they did.

The series, however, generates controversy. While some see adorable babies achieving goals, others panic seeing little ones alone in the urban jungle.

The show takes children on their first trip without adults on public transport
The show takes children on their first trip without adults on public transport

Told Tanith Carey, a well-known author of books on fatherhood Insider have big doubts about the program. “I am very much in favor of the idea that children should be taught to do more for themselves,” she said. “When children feel confident, their self-esteem is strengthened.” “But – and this is a very big ‘but’ – the tasks that adults ask them to do must be developmentally appropriate.”

He added: “You’re wrong to make funny pictures on young children and tease them by asking them to do tasks that aren’t ready for development,” she said.

Instead, for Lenore Skenazy, president of Let Grow, a nonprofit organization that advocates for childhood independence, the series seems motivating. “It’s great to turn on the TV and see a show where the kids run errands and are happy and successful,” said Skenazy. “It’s not another season of ‘Law & Order’ where they’re kidnapped on the go.”

He described the parenting culture in Japan as more relaxed than in the United States. “In America, we only see children as if they are in danger,” she said. “If anyone saw a 5 or 4-year-old – not to mention 2 – walking alone from the park, he’d have a heart attack and call the police.”

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