Monster Parents

If you think PTA is hard in the west, wait till you hear about Monster Parents, the latest trend here in Japan. It has teachers upset, principles at wit’s end and many members of society wondering where the traditional concern for others has gone. Get more information in this podcast with 2 dramatizations.



A: Have you ever heard of a “Monster parent”? A “Monster parent” is a Japanese English word, which means aggressive parents of students who frequently make a fuss about the way homeroom teachers or principals treat their own children. Monster parents are big social problem in Japan now. Some teachers fall into depression and others commit suicide because of too unreasonable and selfish claims from parents. To comprehend the Monster parent problem more, please listen to the next two dramatizations.
Case 1
(Sound of telephone ring)
B: Hello.
C: Hello. This is ??.
B: What’s up?
C: I’m very angry about the picture taken at my son’s school trip.
B: Didn’t the picture come out well?
C: Yes, The picture is very clear! And my son is in the center of the picture.
B: I’m not sure what the problem is…?
C: My son is next to Kazuhiro Sasaki!
B: Oh, they are good friends. What’s wrong?
C: Kazuhiro is the tallest in your class. And my son suffers for his short      stature. Don’t you know that? The picture emphasizes that my son is short! You are too unkind. You should not have taken such a picture. My son is very depressed because of you! You are not qualified as a teacher! You should resign!

A: You may think this is a Japanese-style joke, but sadly this is almost nonfiction. Let’s move on to the next case.

Case 2
(Sound of telephone ring)
B: Hello
C: Hello. This is ??.
B: What’s up?
C: My daughter told me about the casting of the school plays.
B: Yes. Our class is going to play “Cinderella”.
C: Not good at all! My daughter doesn’t have the role of Cinderella.
B: Oh, that’s a pity. But we didn’t decide the casting unfairly. Applicants balloted for the cast of Cinderella, and one student won the part.
C: That’s ridiculous! My daughter is very good at acting. If she plays Cinderella, the quality of your class’s play will improve. You should change the casting right now. If you cannot do so, my daughter won’t participate in the school plays!
A: From these two cases, you can see how unreasonably and egoistically  Monster parents are demanding of school. Monster parents are impatient when school does not give their own children the full treatment. Why so many parents in Japan have become “Monster” recently? Some people say that this is because Japanese parents have lost respect for teachers. On one hand, the prestige of teacher in Japan declined in the bubble economy, which is the Japanese temporary prosperity around 1990. On the other hand, in 1990s, after the bubble economy burst, many people were fired and began to envy the teachers’ stable status.
We must solve this problem. First it is important to try to find a good way out to cope with the individual claims from Monster parents. In fact the government has already made manuals for teachers to handle the claims. And also it is necessary to solve the roots of this problem. We should think how we will be able to recover the esteem of teachers. This is not only for teachers but also for the students.

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