Fatherhood can be quite overwhelming. But fathers and fathers-to-be in Japan need not worry as the nation’s municipal governments have launched an initiative that aims to help current and first-time dads in talking care of their children. “Father-child handbooks” are being distributed to give tips on how to take care of your children.
Gone are the days when only the mothers care for their kids. More and more dads are now becoming involved in rearing their children. To combat the fear most dads feel when handling their kids, the municipal government issued the handbook, which is a direct counterpart of the “mother-child health record,” moms-to-be get when they inform local government offices of their pregnancy. The content may vary from each municipality, with local governments adding information unique to their area. The handbook commonly includes information on how to take care of children from feeding to diaper changing, with added tips on how to interact with their spouses.
The father-child handbook distributed in Wakayama takes the examples of notable people in the town’s history when giving out parenting tips. Fathers thought to be free-spirited such as Minakata Kumagsu were advised to inform their families where they are headed to foster good communication and relationship while in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, a recipe for udon noodles is included as the place is famous for the best udon noodles in Japan. However, only 12 out of the 47 prefectures in Japan have adopted this practice of handing out the guidebooks. Because of the independent way the prefectures’ government moves, the national government has yet to see how effective the handbooks are in a nationwide scale. But 33-year old Daichi Watanabe, who conducts fatherhood seminars, believe the handbooks are very essential in rearing children and teaching their locals love for their hometowns because of the municipality-specific way they were written.
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan