Right now kids across Japan are rejoicing that their school summer break has finally arrived, despite the fact that, like other students in many other parts of Asia, they’re given stacks of homework to complete during their month off.

This homework is often piled on top of other summer cram-school study sessions, camps, and other activities their parents may have already signed their children up for up, and over the years mothers and fathers have found it increasingly hard to keep their kids from putting their summer homework off until the last minute, especially once they reach that “rebellious stage” children usually go through. In fact, summer homework leaves some parents so stressed out that they even seek out homework completion services than spend endless days nagging at their kids.

Fortunately that won’t be the case this year for one Japanese father, who had the ingenious idea of using reverse psychology on his kids in order to get them to finish their assignments quickly.

Unlike summer homework in the western world, which generally consists of reading assignments and a few worksheets, Japanese summer homework is usually packets upon packets of practice problems and “experience assignments”, such as visiting museums and parks, keeping a daily diary throughout the break, and a jiyu kenkyu, or an independent project that each student can decide for themselves and comes with no rules or instructions.

▼ One of the pluses of sending kids to cram school over the summer is that they now offer fun, interesting courses for the dreaded independent project.

Although the amount of summer homework in Japan now is much less than it was in the past, it’s still enough to where many students feel like they’re not getting enough free time to have fun. And so, for children going through that stage where they do the opposite of whatever their parents tell them, summer homework can soon become quite the family struggle.

Not for one dad, however, who came up with this smart idea that has encouraged his kids to complete their assignments without any arguments or procrastination this summer. He tweeted,

▼  “When I told my kids, who are starting to think that ‘breaking the rules is cool’, that ‘You can only do the amount of summer homework decided for that day! You absolutely must not do any more pages than that today!’ they got a devilish grin on their faces and proceeded to race ahead with it. Hey stop! Stop it! (j/k)”

The advice was so well received it was named the 24th best tweet on July 23 according to Twitter ranking site, TwTimes. Here’s what a few Twitter users had to say in response:

“How cute!”
“That’s amazingly clever!!”
“It’s like the education version of the Scary Dumplings tale lol”
“But then you won’t be able to tell them things like ‘Don’t steal!’ or ‘Don’t murder!’…”
“If you tell them to do something they won’t, so telling them they can’t so they’ll want to is great!! lol”

Including another variation of how to handle summer homework woes:

“My kids told me the same thing (‘Hey stop! Stop it!’) when I folded all their homework pages into paper airplanes.”

I don’t know about you all, but I’d give this dad an A+ for thinking of a brilliant way to keep his cool while letting his kids keep their “cool” reputations.

Source: ToGetchTwitter (@d_achiwa)
Top image: Milk ‘N Cookiezzz
Insert image: Gakken