Tenrikyo Teachers Meeting Discusses Causes of Problem Behavior

In recent years, the problems surrounding juveniles have become more diversified and serious. According to the statistics compiled by Japan’s National Police Agency, the number of crimes committed by juveniles during the first half of this year exceeded 60,000, an increase of approximately 1,700 compared with the same period last year. Meanwhile, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has announced that the number of elementary or junior high school students refusing to go to school this year has reached a record-breaking 134,000, about 4,000 more than the previous year.

In the midst of such a situation, the 44th Tenrikyo Teachers Meeting was held at the Home of the Parent on August 7 and 8, with the participation of a total of 526 active and retired teachers. During the two-day meeting, they discussed various issues to search for the causes of the problematic acts of children and to find a method of education that, based on faith, would nurture children’s minds.

The first day of the meeting started with a lecture by Honbu-in Yoshiaki Mihama. He said that parents should closely watch over their children, just as God the Parent always watches over us, wherever we are and whatever difficulties we are experiencing. He contended: “Here we can find the starting point for raising children—with ‘watching over’ being the keyword for raising them. I hope you teachers will keep watching closely over your students with loving care.”

Then, Ms. Reiko Fukushima, a Tenrikyo minister, spoke under the title “Great blessings through trials,” in which she shared with the audience her experiences in raising her son who has visual and hearing disabilities.

On the second day, Mr. Masashi Ueda, a specialist in the issues of bullying and refusal to go to school, talked on the causes of problematic behavior of children. He said that children who are clearly aware that they are being raised with loving care do not exhibit problematic behavior. The meeting closed with a two-hour panel discussion.

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