“I really wanted to try if it will work in the Philippines,” says Mike Pelayo, father of five-year-old Vito who just like many of us just binge-watched Netflix’s Old Enough TV series in amazement.
The long-running Japanese show is known to follow young kids, some as young as two-years-old to go on an age-appropriate simple errand alone while an entire camera crew follows the child without his or her knowledge.
Many parents at Smart Parenting Villagesaid it was impossible to do in the Philippines, and that teaching kids independence can be done inside the home instead. But all agree that young kids can definitely do age-appropriate tasks.
“Yung nasa Netflix, two or three years old, I think he’s old enough to do errands already,” says Mike. He also wanted to see if his son could do it. “I really wanted to see kung kaya ni Vito because he’s already five years old.”
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The setup: a controlled environment
The Pelayos live in a private subdivision with a pandesal bakery about 550 meters away. The trip would be 1.1 kilometers in total. The task was simple: Vito needs to buy pandesal.
“We wanted him to be alone talaga but si Karlene, my wife, medyo hesitant yun eh. Ayaw niya for Vito to go by himself,” says Mike.
To appease Vito’s mom and also in the name of safety, Mike planned to secretly tail Vito using a car that his son was not familiar with. This was also so he could take videos of his son’s first errand.
Mike was about 200 meters away. “Halos hindi ko na talaga makita si Vito nun.”
It was a spontaneous experiment for Mike and Karlene, with daddy as the mastermind. He chose to send Vito on the errand on Easter, estimating that there would be few cars on the road because their neighbors would still be on vacation.
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