I send my two-year-old boy to the shops on his own to buy my groceries – and it’s dividing opinion

I send my two-year-old boy to the shops on his own to buy my groceries – and it’s dividing opinion

A JAPANESE reality show that follows kids as young as TWO as they are ordered to carry out errands in megacities with no help from their parents has divided opinion.

Old Enough – currently on Netflix UK – was originally released in Japan in 1990 and called Hajimete no Otsukai ('My First Errand').

Among the 20 episodes is two-year-old Hiroki who is sent to the supermarket just over half-a-mile away to buy his mum groceries.

In the perplexing scenes the boy proudly waves goodbye before braving the streets for a whopping 23-minutes completely alone.

Arriving at the store, the poor little boy initially struggles to pick up a basket before being assisted by a member of staff.

The toddler then runs through the shop in search of the items before heading to the till.


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He pulls out his bag, gets out some cash and pays for his shopping – just like any other shopper.

He successfully completes the task before leaving the supermarket and wandering home.

Other episodes show toddlers getting on public transport, helping their parent's businesses and running errands as light-hearted music plays in the background.

One standout episode even shows three-year-old Koiki taking her dads lunch to him at work – 1.2km away.

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After being told not to be a 'crybaby' by her mum and without shedding a single tear, she heads off on her errand.

She is then seen confidently crossing roads and avoiding conversation with strangers who greet her as she makes it all the way to her hungry dad – she then heads back.

The show has been running so long that some kids on newer episodes have parents who appeared on the show themselves.

But despite the extraordinary demands put on the toddlers, a hidden safety team watches their every move.

Neighbours are also informed in advance that the children will be wandering solo in the area so they don't raise alarms.

There is also a lengthy selection process to ensure the kids can actually do the tasks the show expects of them.


But viewers have been deeply divided by the show, and while many have revelled in the independence show by the nippers, others think it is deeply irresponsible to let kids out into the world in such a way.

One Twitter user appeared overjoyed at seeing a three-year-old take the bus, tweeting: "I just watched this episode tonight. I squealed through all the bus scenes. He did so well!"

Another said he found the show "absolutely hilarious".

While a third even said: "Please go watch “Old Enough!” On Netflix. It’s SO CUTE!! These little ones are SO RESPONSIBLE."

Others however were not in slightest bit impressed by what they had seen.

One user Tweeted: "That show Old Enough on Netflix is cute & all but I feel like it's f* up conditioning TODDLERS to work."

While a second chimed: "Ok I am officially over Netflix. I am boycotting them indefinitely, I'll bootleg Ye's next documentary.

"That Cutie's movie was bad enough but this? A show portraying toddlers as all grown up & Independent."

And another appeared divided: "I just binged Old Enough on Netflix and I can't decide if it's child abuse or really great parenting."

According to OK! there has been talks of a UK version of the show being made, but child psychologist, Dr Alison McClymont, is not sure.

She said: "This is exploitative and dangerous, I've never heard of anyone finding the terror of a toddler a reasonable basis for a TV show.

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"I strongly disagree with the idea of this."

She added how a child could be traumatised by "being forced in to survival mode".

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