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The Big Question Some Netflix Fans Have About Old Enough's Toddlers

"Old Enough!," the Japanese reality show that was recently made available on Netflix, is built upon a simple premise. Each episode stars a toddler who is charged by family members to carry out specific tasks all on their own. (The literal translation of the series' title is "My First Errand.") These little missions may include going shopping, decorating a shrine, harvesting vegetables, and more. All of the tasks entail leaving the house and embarking on a notably cute journey to the surrounding community.

As hilarious and heartwarming as the series can be, the safety of the young ones is naturally on many viewers' minds, and considering that some of these children are as young as 2 years old, "Old Enough!" has been the subject of some controversy. While some may worry that the toddlers are being irresponsibly placed in potentially dangerous situations without proper supervision, plenty of careful preparation reportedly goes into choosing the toddlers, checking the various routes, and communicating with local residents before each errand (via The Guardian). Of course, each child is also closely monitored by the camera crew that follows them. But amid these conversations, one big question, in particular, has been asked by recent viewers of the show.

What if the toddler decides to leave on their own again later?

One thread in the r/television subreddit invited a more in-depth discussion of the series, and some users questioned the wisdom of teaching these kids to run errands on their own without adult help. u/Bisbee33 commented, "I wonder what happens when the toddler wants to do the shopping the next day! Since they don't tell the kids about the cameramen who are watching them, the child thinks they are completing the task alone... I just watched the one where the 3-year-old got on a public bus twice. The second time he almost missed his stop. I hope the little guy doesn't try it again on a different day."

What makes this fear different from others about "Old Enough!" is that it cannot be as easily addressed with explanations of the show's preparation process. Any measures taken to ensure a safe trip on the day of filming may no longer be present afterward. However, u/Gigantkranion noted that recognizing certain cultural differences between Japan and the U.S. can help assuage some worries and perhaps correct a few misunderstandings. With Japan being more community-focused, the toddlers can continue to lean on a network of neighbors long after the camera crew departs. 

At its core, "Old Enough!" is really about capturing the moments that build the little ones' confidence, and feeling comfortable in their community is a large piece of that.