Tuesday marked the 72nd Children’s Day since Tango no Sekku, or the traditional boys’ festival, on May 5 was established as a national holiday. It is hoped it is made into a day to wish for the healthy growth and well-being of children.
Every year, there are many families who enjoy themselves at holiday resorts or in their hometowns on Children’s Day, as one of the Golden Week holidays. This year, however, people have been asked to exercise self-restraint over going out due to the influence of the new coronavirus.
Although it is difficult for families to go farther afield, they have plenty of time to spend at home. Therefore, it is recommended they ruminate about their children’s dreams or future and discuss them together.
In recent days, a term has come to be heard in Japanese. The term combines the English words “essential” and “worker” and refers to someone engaged in medical or nursing care, distribution, nursery school and other vital fields.
As infections become widespread, they are working hard around the clock to save patients’ lives or deliver important resources. It is safe to say that they support people’s lives in times of emergency.
According to a survey conducted by Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. in which they asked children in nursery school, kindergarten and elementary school what they want to be when they grow up, nursery school or kindergarten teacher and nurse were ranked high in the girls’ answers.
This coronavirus pandemic may give children an opportunity to consider vaguely held dreams as real jobs.
Soccer or baseball player were ranked high in what boys want to be. Regrettably, no games are being held at the moment. However, many professional players are releasing videos and other content to demonstrate training exercises that can be done at home.
If children do physical exercise while watching these videos, they may get closer to their dreams even just a little.
There are also materials that may spark conversations between parents and children. On the official website of author Ryu Murakami’s work “13-sai no Hello Work” (Hello Work for 13-year-olds) about 6,000 adults introduce various jobs.
It is important for fathers and mothers to speak about their jobs to sons and daughters. When did they decide what they wanted to be? How and in what regard have they found their job rewarding? Each and every word they use will be a clue for children to think about their future jobs.
There are many children who have been seeing their parents working at home recently. Some must be sensing things they cannot learn in the classroom.
“Although things were tough at that point, we spent valuable time together.” If they recall it thus when they look back on their life in future, that will be the ideal outcome for this Children’s Day.
— The original Japanese article appeared in The Yomiuri Shimbun on May 5, 2020.