TV Show Featuring Toddlers Running Errands Alone Sparks Parenting Debate

Last night I watched a show on Netflix called ‘Old Enough’. The show, which has been airing in Japan since 1991, follows children ages 2-5 as they run their first errands. It is sweet – and it is shocking.

Episode one features a little boy, all of 2 years and 9 months old, who is given the task to venture to the grocery store (alone) to purchase three items…curry, cake, and flowers. He heads out with a little pouch around his neck and a yellow flag.

His journey is 1 kilometer each way – a 1.2 mile round trip. His route takes him along a major road (with large trucks and buses whizzing by), which he has to navigate crossing as well. It takes him 23 minutes to reach the store.

Once inside, he has to remember the three items he was tasked to get. When he has trouble finding the flowers, he asks a store clerk for help. He purchases two of the items, pays, and heads out of the store. Once back on the road, he realizes he forgot the curry and goes back to the store.

Did I mention he is TWO YEARS OLD???

Check out some clips from the show here…

As you can imagine, the show has sparked quite the parenting debate, with many people praising the early independence, and others finding it, well, a bit much.

Twitter users weighed in…

I ended up watching the first three episodes (they are only 10 minutes each). Are the kids absolutely adorable? Yes. Did I find myself rooting for them? Yes. Was the mom in me panicking as to all the things that could go wrong when a toddler age child ventures out into the world alone? Yes!

Clearly, there are cultural differences at play here, and I find it fascinating that a modern society exists where parents feel comfortable sending such young children out alone. The Bronx-born cynic in me would honestly never do that.

So what do you think? Is there a certain age where you think it’s appropriate for a child to venture out alone, or would it depend on where the child lived?

Whatever your opinion, it’s a very interesting show to watch!

Speaking of television shows, check out my picks for “10 Great TV Shows To Binge Watch Right Now”