Interview Post:  As a part of Parenting around the world series, we have been talking about Japan this entire month. Taking our learnings to the next level, here is an Interview with Kuntal Kundalia, who is an indian origin mom to an 8 year old son but has been living in Japan for more than 12 years now. All these years Kuntal has been keenly observing and adapting to the Japanese way of life and quite successfully so. Today , let us hear from the person who has seen it all and has been living n it all at the same time. Let us try and unfold the secrets to Japanese Parenting together with Kuntal.

Interview with Kuntal Kundalia

                                                                                           Kuntal kundalia pic

                                                     Name                                   :                Kuntal Kundalia

                                                     Age                                       :                         38

                                                     Age of your Kids                :                  8 year old son 

                                                     No of family Members.     :                          3


Tell us something about Yourself:

I am quite a reserved person and calm too till I discovered the other side of me, ofcourse after being awarded with motherhood. A travel addict – virtual and otherwise.  

Are you a stay at home mom or a working mother?

Working as a part-timer to balance work time, home time and ‘me’ time. 

Did you believe in co-sleeping with your child?If Yes, till what age did you co sleep with your child?

Absolutely believe in co-sleeping with my child and for as long as he may want to. There are times when he still sleeps with us and then there are times when he needs the space. As for me, I’m happy to be close to him ☺ 

Children travel alone in public transport in Japan. Is this true, what are your thoughts about it?

Yes, they do as soon as they are in elementary school and I think it’s brave. For most kids I think it’s when they have to be on the same train for 20 minutes or less. As for my son, he started to travel independently towards the end of Grade 2. Also because it requires changing trains and is about 35 minutes door to door. 

Do your kids help you with household chores?

Yes, he usually helps with drying the clothes and putting things in place.  

Do you have your meals together?

Not always but we try to. 

How often you give gifts to your child. Is it attached to good behaviour often?

Gifts are occasional. For good behavior and good jobs it’s some added minutes in front of the screen. 

Share some insights about the bento box

I’m not very good at this but I must pack a bento as the school doesn’t have enough vegetarian options. If home cooked, it’s rice and paratha in various forms and sandwich or rice ball if store bought. The planning happens the night before or the very morning. 

Do you take your kids to the park for a picnic occasionally or often?

Going to the parks are usually on weekends or holidays. 

Japanese kids are usually well behaved and calm. On what would you attribute this to?

A unique mix of the culture and value systems and the way these kids are brought up results in these attributes here. However, I would also like to add that one also sees the not so calm and well behaved versions often too.

Do you usually have big joint families in Japan including the uncles, aunts, grand parents, cousins etc. How do you teach your kids to value their family?

Joint families are a thing of the past. Been in Japan for over 15 years but haven’t heard or seen a joint family. There are families who live close but not together. 

How do you manage the me time and do you go out with your friends often.

I usually meet friends during the week and rarely on the weekends. Me time for me is just being with me reading, sleeping or watching tv. 

How do you manage the spending related to the kids – Any special planning tips you can share. 

One advise from Japanese Parenting that you would tell the mothers across the globe. ‘Gambare’ which means do your best, keep going. 

Share your top 3 things that you as a mother definitely want to teach your child.

Compete with yourself, respect what you have, be kind. 

If you have to choose one behaviour that your kid can possess, what would you choose:
a) Competitiveness Or Kindness                        b)Winning or being inclusive.       

I think the answer to the previous question says it. 

Read more about Parenting in Japan here and The way of life in Japan.