Diet and Snacks:
The mother’s mainly cook for their children, I rarely see the father’s cook but I have asked a few if they can cook and while some can, I think it is rarely or in the weekend. Children are always eating home cooked food and even though fruit and vegetables are expensive, they are always given a small amount of it to balance their meal. Usually children are given tofu, natto, meat or fish with some miso soup and rice. However, I do think because most of the parent’s work until late (especially the father’s who work until 8pm or 9pm), they are more likely to buy food or leave it to the mother because she is able to pick up the child after work.
The parents just want their children to just get used to hearing English and if possible, repeat and say new words or sentences. Some really want their kids to be able to switch between English, Japanese and/or another language they might have been brought up with. But there are some who want them to just get used to hearing the language and being comfortable around English speakers. I have heard of other parents with older children who are strict on seeing their children speak in English and want them to excel early. I got asked a few times to read a certain book or focus on speaking slowly to a child so they would get used to my speaking pace. All of the parents were quite chill and accepted the way I taught children as well as trusted me to be alone with the children either in the house or certain rooms alone.
It is also nice for the parents to have some time away from their children as they are with them almost 24/7 so the fact a lot of them left the house so the child can feel more free and get used to talking in English without wanting the urge to talk in Japanese.
Picking up at Nursery:
Nursery is very interesting as before going into the nursery, it is well secured with a password or a card key so you definitely cannot get in and the staff are very cautious if you are by yourself and don’t have any identification. People stared a lot because of my appearance but few questioned me and what I was doing preferably because I spoke Japanese more than other foreigner babysitters.
One time I had one of the children cry so hard because she hadn’t seen me in two weeks and refused to let me take her home. The nursery teacher took me to take her in a taxi because a black girl picking up a crying Japanese kid would look odd.
If I ever had a chance, I’d like to go to a middle or high school and see what it’s like there.