In the competition for entrance examinations, parents often become more absorbed in the examinations than their children and lose their objective thinking. They think that they must get their children into good schools at any cost, and they bind their children in such and such a way that they force them to study by force.
In my book “Kyoiku Abuse: Kyoiku-Yuushin” na Oyasato Tachi (“Educational Abuse”: Parents Who Destroy Their Children) (Hayakawa Shinsho), I revealed the process and causes of such parents’ warped education for their children, which turns into psychological violence and develops into abuse.
In this article, we would like to consider some of the horrific acts of abuse committed by parents against their children.
The process by which parents lose their cool due to the overzealous encouragement of cram schools for higher education was discussed in Part 1: The “Educational Abuse” of the Growing Boom in Junior High School Entrance Exams. Parents are forced to think only of “I must make sure their child passes the entrance exam at all costs,” “If their child fails the exam, their child’s future will be over,” and “My raison d’etre is to make sure their child passes the exam.
Some cram schools stimulate such frustration of parents in a surreptitious way. One cram school creates a group line for parents according to their child’s proficiency level, and every time a class change test is held, the members of the parents’ group are also replaced. Parents feel as if they have fallen in rank as parents and become impatient, and they tell their children to study even harder.
They don’t even allow them to go to the bathroom.
Of course, not all parents engage in educational abuse just because they are absorbed in taking entrance exams. Parents who engage in educational abuse have the “factors” that make them do it. Please read this book for more details, but there is the academic complex that parents have, peer pressure within the extended family, their own warped success stories, developmental characteristics, and other factors that cause educational fever to run rampant in the wrong direction.
Let me show you the typical acts of educational abuse by parents in three categories.
Parents who lose their cool mistakenly believe that the more time their children spend at their desks, the higher their grades will be. Therefore, they try to tie their children to their desks in various ways.
They lock themselves out of their study rooms, install surveillance cameras, do not allow their children to go to the bathroom until they have completed their assignments, and force them to take large doses of caffeine to disturb their sleep. Parents often take turns watching their children in the background.
These parents do not see their children as full-fledged human beings. They believe that the child will not do anything unless the parents make him or her do it, and they try to control the child and manipulate him or her to do everything by themselves.
The most common form of educational abuse is when parents verbally push and hurt their children.
For example, parents cut off the child’s escape route or exit route by using extreme expressions such as, “If you don’t pass the exam, your parents will no longer be able to face the world,” or “If you don’t beat the exam competition, your life is over.
If grades do not improve as expected, parents hurl abusive language at their children as if to denigrate their character. I don’t want to think it’s my child. I don’t want to think of them as my own children. You are an idiot, you don’t deserve to live in this house. Get out now.”……
Parents often fundamentally deny their children’s efforts.
If your brother can do it, why can’t you? If the grades don’t accompany the effort, it’s a lie.”……
Terrible parents bombard their children with these words dozens of times a day. They tear their children’s hearts to shreds.
Some parents try to control their children not only verbally but also physically.
In many cases, parents teach their children how to study at home in addition to cram school. At such times, parents may become frustrated and angry at their children’s inability to do so, and may resort to violence.
They may punch a wall or slam an object against it, but they may get angry at their child’s inability to solve a problem and directly punch or kick the child. In one incident, a parent stabbed his son to death while holding a knife to his head and forcing him to study.
Children becoming tools of their parents’ self-expression.
For these parents, their children are nothing more than tools for self-realization. Therefore, if their children’s grades do not improve, they become paranoid that they have been “betrayed,” and they resort to violence.
In the old days, when grandparents lived together in a large family, such behavior could be stopped. However, in today’s nuclear families, where children live in close quarters, it is not uncommon for such behavior to escalate unnoticed.
There is a tendency for parents who support their children in studying for entrance exams to be affirmed as “educated parents. However, no matter what the cause, if a parent engages in the above behavior, it is clear abuse.
The doctors interviewed for this book say the following.
The effects of educational abuse on children are no different from those of general abuse. The effects on the child are the same as those caused by physical abuse if he or she is being beaten or psychologically abused if he or she is being verbally abused.
However, because abuse takes many forms in these families, rather than just one, the child is constantly under a great deal of stress and anxiety and has an inappropriate relationship with his or her parents. So the child will have problems in such an environment, such as depression and other mental illnesses, as well as poor attachment formation.”
In general, child abuse is classified into the following four categories. Physical abuse, psychological abuse, neglect, and sexual abuse. In the case of educational abuse, parental behavioral restrictions and verbal abuse fall under “psychological abuse,” while physical violence falls under “physical abuse. In other words, educational abuse is illegal abuse.
Despite this, educational abuse tends to be overlooked compared to other forms of abuse. This may be due in part to society’s warped sense of values.
–The parent is great because he/she got their child into the University of Tokyo, and the child with high academic ability is “excellent.
–A child with high academic achievement is “excellent.
–Parents need to lay down the rails so that their children do not lose out.
In today’s society, the prestige of academic background in employment is weakening, and instead, independence and communication skills are becoming more important. The number of large companies that clearly state that academic qualifications are not required is increasing every year. Despite this, this mindset still persists, and many children are being harmed by educational abuse.
For more details, please read this book, but the way of learning that is beneficial to children is the opposite of educational abuse. We must respect the independence of the child and suggest a study method that suits the child, rather than imposing something uniformly.
Only when each adult is fully aware of this can we reduce the number of children who are crushed by education.
Reporting and writing： Kota Ishii
Born in Tokyo in 1977. Nonfiction writer. He has reported and written about culture, history, and medicine in Japan and abroad. His books include "Absolute Poverty," "The Body," "The House of 'Demons'," "43 Killing Intent," "Let's Talk about Real Poverty," "Social Map of Disparity and Division," and "Reporto: Who Kills Japanese Language Ability?