9 Ways Japanese Schools Are Different From American Schools

Japan is known for having extreme work schedules, an extremely strange sense of humor that's  a bit out of sync with their (seemingly) reserved personalities, and they're known for going to extremes to blow off steam. Behind closed doors, of course.

Training to become a "Salaryman" begins at an early age, so as you can imagine going to school in Japan is quite different than it is in America.

If you feel the American educational system is sorely lacking then you won’t be surprised to discover that the Japanese have us beat in many ways, but that intense schooling comes at a price.

(YouTube Link)

Japanese students don't have substitute teachers to harass, they don't have janitors to clean up their messes, and they don't get Saturdays off to play with their pals. Where's the fun in that?

See 9 Ways Japanese Schools Are Different Than American Schools at mental_floss

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The Doodle Diary Of A New Mom

Being a new parent is a bit like surviving a major catastrophy- you’re always dirty, disheveled and tired, you live in fear of sickness and know that things can get downright nasty in the blink of an eye.

New moms (typically) have a lot more to deal with than daddy, and she must learn to adapt to her new, less fashionable life. But at least she has a tiny alarm clock that will wake her up at all hours of the day and night!

These adorable, yet very (and a bit NSFW) realistic comics by Lucy Scott are part of her book Diary Of A New Mom, which is full of graphic depictions of how having a baby changes a mother's life. At least they'll appreciate all your hard work when they're teenagers!

-Via Awkward Family Photos

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The Tiny Bake Off

Cooking competition shows are very popular. What could make them even more popular? Have toddlers as contestants! In this cooking show, four kids somewhere between one and two years old try their hand at making cupcakes. Hosts Tobias and Bubber cover the process, which consists mainly of mess making, and judge the final results in an oh-so serious manner.

(YouTube link)

This is actually a skit from the Danish comedy/talk series The Sofie Linde Show. In Danish with English subtitles. -via Tastefully Offensive

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Parents Share The Most Inappropriate Thing Their Kids Ever Did

Image: Flickr: bevgoodwin / Creative Commons

When it comes to a topic such as children saying things and behaving in ways that are inappropriate, the article simply writes itself. So BuzzFeed found when they asked their community of readers to share the most inappropriate things their kids ever did. The following quotes are a sample of the responses they received. Read all of the responses here 

“We were getting ready to leave a birthday party and went up to the mother of the birthday child to thank her for inviting us. My 2-year-old son slapped her butt and said, ‘Thanks for the cake, babe.’ That’s how his father thanks me for dinner and apparently he thought it was just how you thank people for food.”

—Tracy Mattea Grimes, Facebook7

“After my son learned what made boys and girls different, he started introducing himself to random people thusly: ‘Hi, I’m John, and I do NOT have a vagina.’” 


“My mom says that when I was little we were waiting for a train when a group of nuns sat down on the bench opposite us. I pointed at them and screamed, ‘Mommy! Look at the witches!! Look Mommy!! Witches!!!’”

—Laura Adler, Facebook

“My 3-year-old son told an older lady at the hair salon that he had a big penis.”


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The Fears of a Father

Chris from Lunarbaboon is getting used to the idea of having two children. The second one will be a girl, and the implications of having a daughter can be daunting to a father -whether he’s experienced in such matters or not. My husband has six daughters, and he will tell you that there are far more things to worry about than you realize when they first arrive.  

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The Effects of Love

These two teddy bears are the same age. Redditor UsernameIWontRegret explained what happened. His mother bought two identical bears when she had her first child in 1985. One was given to her new son, and the other was put into storage. Thirty years later, the second bear was brought out to give to that son’s first child, a little girl named Claire, who was born today. You can see the effects that a lifetime of love has on a teddy bear. If you doubt that it’s the same model of bear, there are plenty of folks who swore they had the same bear and several people posted pictures of theirs, in various stages of wear. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.   

Yes, this sounds like a clever insurance plan, to have another bear in case the first one was lost. But if that were the case, the second bear would have been substituted when the son lost his beloved bear at Disney World, or used for another child in the same family. UsernameIWontRegret's mother insists that the plan was always to keep the second bear for the first child's first child.   

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Boy Insists on Homeless Man Being Fed, Leaving Not a Dry Eye in the Waffle House

YouTube Link

When five-year-old Josiah Duncan was troubled by the appearance of a homeless man outside of a Waffle House in Prattville, Alabama recently, he asked his mother a series of questions about the man's disheveled looks and what it meant to be homeless. Upset at the news that the man was likely hungry, the child begged his mother to buy the man a meal. The events that followed left few patrons of Waffle House untouched. Said Josiah's mom,

"Watching my son touch the 11 people in that Waffle House tonight will be forever one of the greatest accomplishments as a parent I'll ever get to witness."

Via The Daily Dot

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Laugh, Because It’s So True

This is exactly why you have to put a little time between finding out what your kid did and confronting him about it. Parenting experts will tell you it’s because you need to cool off in order to deliver calm, rational discipline instead of venting in anger. We’ll just let the kids think that. What we really need is a little time to put on our adult hat. No one illustrates this better than Lunarbaboon.

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24 Kids’ Show That Parents Won’t Hate, and 8 They Will

The A.V. Club has a series on children’s television, with three posts of suggestions for shows that parents can enjoy along with children, for Pre-kindergarteners, kindergarten through first grade, and 2nd-3rd grade, with eight shows on each list. And then there’s the big finale: 8 kids’ shows to avoid at all costs. I can’t say I disagree with their rankings. The Disney Channel in particular.

If your previously polite child suddenly turns into a disrespectful smart aleck, check your Disney level. Studies have shown (based on an informal survey among The A.V. Club’s immediate circle of parent friends) that Disney-sitcom viewings can result in a rise in attitudinal behavior as your kids mimic what they see on the screen. An overarching element of all these shows is an idiot adult figure that the kids feel free to make fun of, usually in a servile or authority position like doorman or manager. We pin the start of this juvenile downfall to The Suite Life Of Zack And Cody, a grating pair of twins who ran roughshod over an entire luxury hotel (and later a cruise ship with The Suite Life On Deck).

What shows did you most enjoy watching with your children? Which ones rubbed you the wrong way?  -via Metafilter

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People Are Awesome: Kids Edition

We’ve seen quite a few videos from People Are Awesome, and they’re back with a new compilation, this time featuring children doing awesome things. Watch young boys and girls excelling at gymnastics, skateboarding, dance, parkour, martial arts, and more. These kids are amazing!

(YouTube link)

-Thanks, Dan Rice!

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This Daycare Center Looks Like a Giant Toybox

(Photo: A+Architects)

A+Architects designed this daycare center in Lodève, France. It looks like a fun place for kids and kids at heart because stepping inside is like entering a toybox. The windows give the building the appearance of shape sorter. Inside, there are other bright colors and soft shapes that invite visitors to explore and play.

Continue reading

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Most Popular Baby Names for 2014

Image: Kenny Louie

The Social Security Administration just posted its list of the top baby names for 2014. Biblical boy name Noah and girl name Emma are number one for boys and girls, respectively. The Social Security Administration began calculating such numbers in 1997; since then they have amassed records from back to the year 1880. This year's statistics are based on the approximately four million births last year. 

Read a list of the top ten boys and girls names, as well as learning about current name trends, in this article. 

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Big Bird Breaks Our Hearts

Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer inside Big Bird, did a reddit AMA and was asked what was his most meaningful interaction with a child. Spinney’s reply was heartbreaking.

This is a very sad story, but it's real.

I got a letter from a fan who said his little boy, who was 5 years old, his name was Joey, he was dying of cancer.

And he was so ill, the little boy knew he was dying.

So the man, in his letter, asked if I would call the little boy. He said the only thing that cheered him at all in his fading state was to see Big Bird on television.

You’ll have to go to the link to read the whole account -I can’t bear to read it again. And take your hankie when you go. -via The Daily Dot

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Kid's Father and Uncle Build Him a Millenium Falcon Bed

Imgur user edmcgowan works at a design studio with his brother, and the two decided to see what type of design trouble they could get into by transforming his nephew's room into a Star Wars-themed, kids' dream. 

A year ago the uncle and father duo posted a photo of the build in progress. Now they're showing off the finished product: a Millennium Falcon cockpit bed with an AT-AT leg for support. The desk at the side of the bed is a wing and the wall next to the cockpit is made to look like a hangar door, which slides open to reveal a window. It's even equipped with a fan to blow air into the sleeping portion of the ship. She's got it where it counts, kid. 

Via Nerdist | Image: edmcgowan on Imgur

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5-Year Old Isn’t Running away from Home—Just “Moving On” with Her Life

(Video Link)

Saige, a 5-year old girl, doesn’t want you to think of it as a breakup as much as the next stage of the relationship. You’ve both changed, so it’s time to explore other possibilities.

Her big brother Tanner doesn’t want her in the house anymore. So Saige is moving to the home of Jenn, her mom’s best friend. It’s much cleaner and has more room for her stuff.

Fortunately, Saige has backed down from her threat. Now a few days after this video was recorded, she remains in her mom’s house.

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New Classes Help Toddlers Prepare for That All-Important Nursery School Interview

(Photo: BBC)

Yoyo Chan is one and a half years old. She has a big task ahead of her: nailing the nursery school interview. Doing so can get her into the best nursery school, which can lead to the best kindergarten, then elmentary school, and, eventually, the best medical school.

It all comes down to now. Focus, Yoyo. Focus.

In Hong Kong, many parents want their kids to offer their best at the competitive nursery school interview process. A dozen openings at a top school can lead to a thousand applications. So some companies now offer to train toddlers to perform better than their competitors during the interviews. Helier Cheung reports for the BBC:

At interview class, Yoyo is asked to greet the tutor and introduce herself. The tutor then asks her to complete a number of tasks, including building a house with bricks, drawing a picture, sticking two felt eyes in the right position on a felt face, and identifying pieces of fruit.

A little shy to begin with, Yoyo quickly warms up and appears to enjoy the tasks and playing with the toys.

"These classes and interviews can be hard work," says her mother, Emma. "But I do want her to be prepared. Most parents want their child to have a good start."

One nursery Emma is keen on had more than 100 interviewees for just nine places, so she'll do whatever she can to increase her daughter's chances of success.

Yoyo's younger brother, still a baby, will begin interview classes in a few months, she says - when he's about eight months old.

-via Dave Barry

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How to Be A Terrible Neighbor

We've all had bad neighbors before, whether they play music late at night, throw trash over your fence, have vicious dogs that won't stop barking or let their kids play outside during the daytime. Oh, what's that? You don't think there's anything wrong with a child playing in their own backyard?

Well tell that to the grumpy Arizona neighbor who left this note for his neighbors complaining that:

“Every day this week, when weather has been nice and windows are open, you proceed to let your small child run free in your backyard and laugh and giggle and carry on without end. This is very disruptive for my two dogs and my bird who sits next to the window. … Perhaps you could ask him to tone it down a bit, or at least limit his outside time to 15-20 minutes a day. If this behavior continues I WILL CALL THE POLICE"

The letter was shared online by a freind of the family and has quickly gone viral with many commenters chiming in on what they think the proper way to handle the situation would be. So Neatonauts, what do you think? How would you deal with a neighbor who left a note like this in your mailbox?

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Helicopter Parenting

Chris Early of Knoxville, Tennessee, has made the term “helicopter parenting” quite literal, when he used his new video production drone to remotely watch his daughter walk to school without her knowledge.

A few weeks ago Chris's eight-year-old daughter Katie asked to walk to school on her own. Chris said, "She said you're not going to come watch me, but I had another idea."

He got out his drone and took video of her on the way to school. Early says, "I could see other people looking up and I'm sure Katie was just like aw it's my dad."

Katie goes out and flies the drone with her dad. So what does she thinks of that ? Katie says, "I was like oh wow! He didn't tell me so I was pretty surprised."

Yeah, my kids were pretty surprised to find out that I was driving around the neighborhood the first time they walked home from school alone, but that was years after the fact. Now, if my parents had been able to see where I was going and what I was doing as a child, it might have driven them into an early grave. -via The Mary Sue

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Instagram Account Documents Funny Rationales of Children Who Are Picky Eaters

"My kid can't eat this because of this single bell pepper" | Image: @Shellyyelnats on Instagram

What crazy reasons have your kids given you for rejecting foods served to them at meal or snacktime? The reason for the veto might make perfect sense to their little brains, but it can cause parents the occasional frustrated moment, having just taken time to prepare the food.

The Instagram account "My Kid Can't Eat This" highlights the funny side of the situation, presenting photos of the rejected foods with the accompanying excuses. Check it out for a laugh, or to see that you're not alone having a child in the picky eater's roundtable. -Via Pleated Jeans 

"My kid can't eat this because it has fork holes in it. He keeps saying it's sad while the new one I gave him is happy"
Image: Micki Felix

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A Contender for the Most Demanding First Birthday Invitation Ever

Redditor razz32 obviously saw the entertainment value in this email invitation he received to the celebration (?) of a one-year-old child's birthday, as he posted it to Reddit. The email leaves no question as to pretty much any move that anyone planning to attend could make. If someone showing up at this party has an itch, it's a good bet that a protocol has been devised by these parents as to how it should be scratched.
As you can see, the image above is only a portion of the requests included in this gracious invite. See the missive in its entirety here. -Via Mashable

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