こどもの日 「イクメン」が世間を変える

The Yomiuri Shimbun May 6, 2013
Getting more fathers involved in raising kids can change society
こどもの日 「イクメン」が世間を変える(5月5日付・読売社説)

May 5 is Children's Day. Masaru Ibuka, the late founder of Sony Corp. known for putting his heart into educational activities, once said of parenthood, "Nothing is more noble and wonderful than the work of raising children."
 きょう5日は「こどもの日」。育児について、ソニー創業者で教育にも情熱を注いだ井深大氏は「これほど崇高で素晴らしい仕事はない」という言葉を残している。

We were reminded of this sentiment by a prizewinning essay titled "Oyaji no kyaraben" (Dad's bento inspired by popular characters) in this year's annual Children's Future Award essay contest, which is sponsored by The Yomiuri Shimbun and other organizations.
 それを実感させるのが、今年の「こども未来賞」(読売新聞社など主催)に選ばれた「親父(おやじ)のキャラ弁」という作文だ。

The essay was written by Ryutaro Nakamura, a 38-year-old company employee of Saitama Prefecture. He made bento for his daughter, who had just started kindergarten, while his pregnant wife was laid low by a bad case of morning sickness.
 幼稚園に入った長女のために、つわりのひどい妻に代わって弁当作りをした埼玉県の会社員中村竜太郎さん(38)が書いた。

Nakamura's daughter was very shy around strangers. He hoped she would be able to make new friends at kindergarten if he made bento in which the side dishes were decorated to resemble popular anime character Ampanman and animals.
 人見知りする長女が友達を作るきっかけにと、おかずでアンパンマンや動物を描いた。

The daughter, presumably in a gesture to her father, always ate all her lunch, and told him it was "delicious."
父の気持ちを察してか、長女はいつも残さず食べ、「おいしい」と言った。

However, the father later learned the bento contained too much food for the small girl. Sometimes, with tears in her eyes, she would shovel her lunch into her mouth, even after the other kids had finished eating.
 小さな体には量が多い弁当を、皆が食べ終わった後も涙目でほおばっていたのだと後に知る。

Nakamura's essay ends by saying, "Making bento was truly a precious time I shared with my daughter."
 作文は、弁当を作った時間は「長女と私だけの宝物の時間である」と結ばれている。

When receiving the prize, Nakamura expressed his delight, saying, "I feel thankful to my children for teaching me many things, and I'll keep growing together with them."
 中村さんは「いろいろなことを教えてくれた子供たちに感謝し、これからも一緒に成長していきたい」と受賞の喜びを語った。

By affectionately raising children, parents also can grow. Some data indicate the more time a husband spends caring for a child, the higher the probability the couple will have a second child. It is important for Japan to produce more fathers dubbed "ikumen" (men actively involved in child rearing) like Nakamura.
 愛情を持って子供を育てることで、親も成長する。夫の育児時間が長い夫婦ほど、第2子を持つ割合が高いというデータもある。中村さんのような「イクメン」を増やすことが大切だ。

Abe for longer care leave

A growing number of local governments are arranging courses on daily household chores for fathers, such as cooking and ironing lessons. Nonprofit organizations have been hosting more gatherings at which fathers can talk with each other about the joys and difficulties of rearing children.
 父親向けに、料理やアイロンのかけ方などの家事講座を開く自治体が増えてきた。父親同士で子育ての楽しみや苦労を語り合う会合などを開くNPO法人の活動も広がっている。

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has called for the business world to voluntarily extend child care leave, which under current law can be taken for a maximum of 1-1/2 years, up until a child becomes 3 years old, both for male and female employees.
 安倍首相は、現行法では最長1年6か月までの育児休業期間について、子供が3歳になるまで男女とも取得できるよう、経済界に自主的な取り組みを要請した。

Some companies allow male workers to take paid child care leave for about two weeks. We think every company should make further efforts to encourage male employees to get more involved in child rearing.
 男性社員に2週間程度の有給での育児休業を認める企業もある。男性の育児参加をさらに促す企業努力を各社に求めたい。

Beef up community ties

The ties between parents of small children and communities that look warmly after child-rearing couples are also important.
 育児中の家庭を温かく見守る地域とのつながりも重要だ。

There have been cases in which parents playing with their kids at a park have been told by neighbors they are "noisy." So what are they supposed to do?
 親子が公園で遊んでいても「うるさい」と言われることがある。これでは居場所がない。

A Children's Future Foundation survey found 34 percent of mothers felt "alone and isolated from society" while raising children.
 こども未来財団の調査では、母親の34%が育児中に「社会から隔絶され、自分が孤立しているように感じる」と回答している。

Japan should set up more places where parents and kids can casually get together. Parents can chat and let their kids play at local facilities that support child rearing, such as community centers and children's centers. We hope people whose children have left the nest will help run these facilities.
 親子が気軽に集える場を増やすべきだ。公民館や児童館を利用した「地域子育て支援拠点」では、親同士が語り合い、子供を遊ばせている。運営に、子育てを終えた人たちの協力を期待したい。

Having communities lending a hand and providing more support to mothers with children will greatly help people going through parenthood.
 地域で子供を見守り、母親を支えることが育児の力になる。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 5, 2013)
(2013年5月5日01時00分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2013-05-08 09:37 | 英字新聞

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