Toddlers Sent to Run Errands Alone in Japanese Show Now on Netflix

Otis Adams

The first episode opens with a mother giving her two-year-old son instructions on how to use his safety flag when a car is coming.

"Bye-bye," the toddler said repeatedly as he waved to his mother and ambled down the driveway.

The Japanese television program, called Old Enough, is now on Netflix. It has apparently been a hit on Japanese television for thirty years.

The show takes a light-hearted approach as it follows toddlers on errands like going to the grocery store. Sound effects and laugh tracks played as the two-year-old boy mentioned above stood at the entrance of the grocery store as the automatic doors opened and closed, until he decided instead to wander to the quarter machines hoping for candy or a toy.

In other episodes, a little girl is sent to the fish market, a toddler eventually followed his mother's instructions to walk home alone and make lemonade, and a three-year-old boy and girl are given a list of errands which includes climbing 202 stair steps.

Insider reported that the two experts they spoke with disagreed on whether the show represented a good thing, though this should not be assumed an even sampling of childhood development experts.

"I broadly support the idea that children should be taught to do more for themselves... When children feel confident, it builds self-esteem. But — and this is a very big 'but' — the tasks that adults ask them to perform have to be appropriate for their development. (Tanith Carey, author of What's My Child Thinking?)

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Author of Lavatory Reader #1: This Road, now available on Amazon. Otis Adams is the author of three books and has won two dozen awards for his screenplays and short fiction. He writes regularly on Medium.com and can be contacted at pithbooks@gmail.com.

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