Raising Independent Kids

Eri & Emi Baby Portraits by Herna

Every mother hopes to spend a lot of time with her children, so mom can bond and teach them her values. However, life in Jakarta demands mothers to depend on nannies. In my recent Japanese photoshoot, I see something different with the way Grace raises her children, Eri and Emi. I have met a lot of children, but hers are more independent while still having a tight bond with mom and dad. 


Grace told me a couple stories. If you live in Japan, you have to do everything by yourself. For instance: kids are taught to eat by themselves. Then, they are told to put everything by its order. They are reminded: these behaviors will help to keep the peace, not disturbing other people. That’s why when we go to Japan, we rarely see children running, screaming, or making messes. We see calm children everywhere. 


Also, being physically close is important. Moms take her baby everywhere. No matter where the mother goes, whether it’s the supermarket blocks away or the kitchen at the house’s next room, the baby comes with her. Moreover, in most households, the family sleeps together, the child between mom and dad, until shortly after preschool.   


Interesting. Raising kids the Japanese way takes more effort. However, it would be priceless to watch the kids grow independent and close to us. Being independent, the children would have a big sense of responsibility, and, when they’re a bit older, they’ll be able to make their own decision.  



With love,




Photo courtesy of dad Takayuki & mom Grace