I think I might be ‘that’ mother!!

15 Apr

You know ‘that’ mother that judges parents based on their child’s behavior. I’d love to be a bit more compassionate and empathetic. I really would. But fuck me sideways, sometimes you just have to wonder what kind of parenting is going on to enlist such shocking antics.

This is of course a completely ridiculous thing for me to say as a) my own parenting often leaves a lot to be desired, and b) the two children in the following episodes both have behavioral problems. Quite obviously the mothers did not have enough coconut oil, palenta and chia seeds during pregnancy.

LOL, I know. That is ridiculousness. Twas probably the MRI vaccination.

Yesterday was Ryu’s kindergarten entrance ceremony. Yes, they do have such things in Japan and these occasions are in fact important enough to warrant both parents taking the day off work and a speech by the local government’s deputy head of education. Parents wear suits, teachers wear suits and pearls, the head of the primary school next door wears his full-on tuxedo and the kids all have handmade corsages, albeit made out of very sturdy plastic flowers so the one year olds don’t choke on fauna and flora bits.

There are two new boys in the 5 year old class, the year below the class son is in, but they are both in the same classroom with predominantly the same teachers. Yesterday was their first day at the kinder and I have never seen the mums before and hub informed me that going from their surnames they must be from the town one town over. That town doesn’t have a two-year prep school kindy so often kids come to our one.

I have known a couple of kids with ADHD or ADD before, but one of these two kids must be on the severe to crazy severe end of the scale. I felt for the mother, I really honestly did, but for the love of fuckin god if your child is stomping all around the room, throwing himself across the floor, screaming, and throwing potted plants around could you not take the poor boy outside! He disrupted the entire ceremony from start to finish and I really think, that despite all of us having to please understand he has a disability, that one child ruining the ceremony for the other 20 kids just isn’t fair. Am I being too cold about this? His mum did the parent’s speech and mentioned his disability and that she hoped we would all understand and accept her son and all the challenges that came with him being in the class.

Yes, a new teacher has been appointed to the kindergarten to look after the child but she is very young and I do wonder at her capabilities in being able to look after this child well enough for him not to completely disrupt the class and/or hurt himself or others, namely my youngest child, over the next year.

Then there was boy number two – who, to his credit, managed to stay in his seat for at least half of the ceremony. Not to his credit though he spent all of that time trying to wrestle, strangle, kick and punch the poor boy beside him, and then the teacher when she had to keep coming to intervene. Again, why the parents just didn’t say excuse me, and walk up and take him outside I don’t understand. He was hurting this child and I imagine the teacher went home with bruises on her arm and possibly a black eye. The local policemen was a ‘guest’ dignitary at the ceremony and leaned over and actually put his hand on the boy’s hand and said ‘stop now’. Which was fruitless.

I do not know if this boy has actually been diagnosed with anything but surely, because it was just insaneness, and I really would question what the parents are doing if it turns out his behavior is just bad.

After the ceremony the parents had a meeting while the kids played outside, during which time the teachers were unable to stop the first boy picking up a planter and hitting a three year old girl in the back and a four year old girl in the face. Tears, tears.

Today I went to pick Ryu up and both mums were there picking up their boys. The mum of the first boy is running around the yard after her son who is wearing nothing but a pair of undies. The second mum is trying to get her son to stop playing and get his things. The teacher is talking to her about how he pushed another kid over, he hurt himself, cried, yaddah yaddah. Then she saw me and said oh, it was Ryu. He hurt his hand but I think he’s OK. Then she did the very Japanese thing of saying Ryu was so kind and wanted to show the boy and that’s why he was following Ryu round. Which comes across as your son being kind = reason for being pushed over and hurt by bully psychotic child who may or may not have problems.

Now, IF I HAD BEEN THE OTHER MOTHER… I would have turned around and apologized on my son’s behalf. A simple “sorry my son hurt your son” would suffice. She didn’t even make eye contact.

She herself is very young and this is her eldest child AND she doesn’t know any of us because she is from the next town. Still, that doesn’t excuse her in my opinion. By not acknowledging my presence or worse, that her son hurt my son, she has unknowingly put herself on my bitch list. Which really just means I’ll say “hello” to her when I see her instead of “hello, what a lovely day it is, how is your son liking kindy?”

As Ryu was about to put a soccer ball he was using away the other boy came over, pushed him into the shoe box, grabbed the ball and ran away. Biting my tongue from saying ‘where are your fuckin manners child!!’ I just looked at Ryu and said, are you OK? Your friend can put the ball away now.

In the car Ryu asked me why the boys pushed him when he was just trying to show them something or when he wasn’t doing anything. It is tricky. I told him that I’m sure the boys really wanted to play with him but that the inside of their heads work a bit differently than Ryu’s and sometimes their behavior isn’t very good. We have called these two boys Ryu’s ‘new genki friends’

I also then told Ryu that if either of them chased after him with a pot planter or spade he had to run straight to the teacher. He said he could because he was fast.

My fast little man, who has a lot more empathy than I do.

I fear for the year ahead but in all honesty was relieved to hear they won’t be attending the same school! Hurah.

Am I also wrong in thinking that the parents and the kindergarten should inform us of any behavioral issues that we should be explaining to our own children so they don’t get upset or confused?

Why is that kid allowed to leave all his carrots and then run outside in his pants while we finish lunch… ….

How come that kid doesn’t get told off when he hits and kicks us but we do… …

Deep breath, deep breath.

It’s only a year, and you never know maybe, in some way, my sensitive friendly third child will have a positive effect on these two boys in some way.

But faaark, my wine habit would be through the roof if I had a child with the same issues. Credit to the parents for surviving this far.

Which I guess doesn’t go with my first paragraph because I don’t blame them, I fear for my child’s safety and the safety of the other kids, and for the interrupted learning that will take place this year, the year before Ryu starts primary school.

SDGH&QL

 

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20 Responses to “I think I might be ‘that’ mother!!”

  1. Tamakikat April 15, 2015 at 12:55 pm #

    Crikey GW.

    Sounds absolutely shocking.

    And you sound awesome. Love how you explained the new boys to Ryu.

    Super GW should be your title.

    Kathy

    • gaijinwife April 15, 2015 at 1:45 pm #

      Thank you Tamakikat 🙂
      Fingers crossed the boys are just on a ‘starting kinder’ high….

  2. Debra April 15, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    Everyone is “that mother”, no one usually wants to admit it! But this sounds completely insane over and above worrying about being judgmental. I hope the year works out better than the start.

    • gaijinwife April 16, 2015 at 12:25 am #

      OK, glad I’m not the only one thinking the parents of the non-diagnosed-but-surely-has-issues-cause-he’s-a-little-cunt child are seriously lacking int he parenting department! Thank you 🙂

  3. xanaxjunkee April 15, 2015 at 5:59 pm #

    I was one of those judgey people that wanted to always tell people to get their kids under control. But now we get the evil eye from people because Andy is one of those “insane kids”. Granted WE are not the parents that need the dirty look. His horrible mother is the one that let him run a muck so we have to repair the damage she has done. PLUS deal with the behavior issues.
    Luckily things have gotten better only because I will be DAMNED if I continue to get those looks and let Andy get away with his behavior because he has a “disability”. I know he has a disability and I also know full well he was milking it. Though I was against it at first, we did end up putting him on meds. And we are still very strict with Andy, but this school year he has yet to have a single referral to the principal. Last year was god awful and the looks we got as the “parents” of a crazy boy was just unbearable. We still have 10 years of poor upbringing and parenting to make up for but at least it’s getting done.
    I still give the sink eye to parents and kids acting like shits and even point out to Andy how terrible that looks so he rethinks his actions.
    I honestly think some of these kids that are diagnosed with behavior issues/ADHD/ADD whatever, KNOW they can milk it with certain people. I wish you could spank parents for not spanking their kids for acting a fool.

    • gaijinwife April 16, 2015 at 12:28 am #

      Congratulations on how far you have come in rectifying his useless mother’s parenting and yay Andy for doing so well in school so far this year!! And yes, I wanted to spank a few people yesterday, and the day before. Must focus on my deep breathing exercises or one day I might not be able to stop myself! xx

  4. Deb April 15, 2015 at 11:04 pm #

    Wow! How many kids are there in total? Hopefully a few to provide some ummm balance? It’s great how kids get it and often don’t need it to be explained in the way an adult might think. If you’re going to feel for anyone, think of the fucking teachers! They’ll be earning their money this year!!! Ryu sounds like such a lovely wee boy. 🙂

    • gaijinwife April 16, 2015 at 12:32 am #

      My god will they what!! The poor teachers. It is going to be a hell year for them. Last year Ryu’s class had a deaf girl with other behavioral problems too and she had a teacher aid and made so much progress over the year in terms of interacting with the other kids and such. She was never violent though and that is what really scares me about the two new boys this year. There are about 20 kids in total – from about 1-year to Ryu being the oldest turning 6 in June. While there are different classrooms it is the same building and I’d be more scared if I had a child in the lower classes because they can’t see the signs or run as fast!! And thank you, Ryu’s a bloody little angel. just want to squeeze him all day 🙂

  5. Natasha April 16, 2015 at 12:32 am #

    The school doesn’t tell parents about kids in the school who have behavioural issues or disabilities because A. that would be a breach of privacy; and B. it can prejudice kids and parents against the kids. It’s not done here. It’s up to the parents to decide what they want other parents to know. And fair enough too. I have a friend with a son on the spectrum and she chose not to tell the class or parents because she didn’t want him to be known as the autistic kid, who would potentially be shunned or not asked on playdates. He’s very high functioning, but still. Charlotte has a little boy at her kindy who is autistic. But it’s so obvious, even if they hadn’t put a little note next to the sign-up sheet I think most parents would have worked it out. He has a support teacher too. The note was nice though – it had a picture of him and said “Hi, my name is XXX and I have a condition called ASD. I have trouble (with something, I can’t remember what exactly!) but I love to make friends” or something along those lines. He’s a sweet kid, but just does things that most other kids his age don’t, and the other kids find it a bit weird. Anyway, I hope the school (and parents) have some good support lined up. Having said all that, I think the parents should have taken their kids out of the room during the ceremony – that’s just considerate of everyone else, and I hope that isn’t indicative of their whole approach to their sons’ conditions, or it could well be a very loooong year…

    • gaijinwife April 16, 2015 at 12:45 am #

      Yes, totally agree that having to disclose everything would be a breach of privacy. There has been a child with a teacher aid every year since Shou was there. There was an autistic boy in his class who was/is a lovely boy – but so far none of these children have been violent and if a kid is prone to waving chairs round, pushing kids over, strangling and kicking then I’d like to know about it. Although twas blatantly obvious from the ceremony that our children will not get through the year with out more than normal numbers of injuries! I just hope there are enough eyes and hands on board for serious things to be avoided. The five weeks in NZ will be a much needed break by then! xx

    • Anonymous April 16, 2015 at 5:32 am #

      I think a big part of the problem is that schools can’t even really do an assessment of kids without their parents’ consent, nor can they put kids into “special” classes without consent. And, for a lot of parents, the stigma of having a child that is not mainstream is powerful- more powerful than the need to see their child properly diagnosed and helped.

      As for the mothers of the little gentlemen in question, they were probably paralyzed with embarrassment. Acknowledging their sons’ antics would have required full on grovelling and admitting the existence of a problem. Better (in their eyes) to wait for the situation to run its course.

      • gaijinwife April 17, 2015 at 12:01 am #

        Our city (made up of 5 towns) started a 5-year old check up last year and one of the main reasons is to try and pick up on any social or behavioral problems early, before the kids start school. There are specialists who then recommend, encourage, strongly urge or whatever parents to take children for testing. I don’t know fit he town one town over in the other direction, where these boys are from, has this check up though. I hope they do. It might be OK to let the situation run its course but if that involves my kid getting hurt on a regular basis there will be hell to pay :p

  6. Anonymous April 16, 2015 at 1:34 am #

    These kids sound AWFUL, it may only be for a year but if Ryu is going to be subjected to this sort of crap from day one, it is going to be a miserable year for him. I have no doubt that both kids probably have some issues, albeit ADHD or autism BUT in most cases, there are actions that can be taken to at least have them partially socialised if they are to be attending the local mainstream schools. The fact that the mother did not even acknowledge you shows to me that it is not all due to the kids problems but that the parents don’t appear to take any responsibility either.

    • gaijinwife April 17, 2015 at 12:06 am #

      I agree. I have since been informed that the second child has never been to kindergarten, play groups, or whatever, before. This is his first real interaction with other kids his own age after being at home with his mum for nearly five years – the last year of which he was nudged down the food chain due to a sibling being born. I would imagine that for things to get to this point the mum didn’t venture out much – which in turn probably means coming into a kinder environment with other kids and mums, and talking in the carpark, PTA, summer festivals etc is quite daunting for her, and her son, who is now expected to conform, to some degree, to the kinder rules and expectations of the other 5 year olds. All I can really say is that mum is bloody lucky the same excellent, and very firm and fair, teacher is there another year!!

  7. Grace April 16, 2015 at 7:05 pm #

    Hey GW, so good to hear from you, thought you had gone AWOL again…. How is the rest of your life doing – Granny K, Hub behaving themselves?
    With regard to your post, I think most of the comments have already been made – You are doing an awesome job of bringing up your children, Ryu seems able to understand that sometimes it is just best to run away.

    • gaijinwife April 17, 2015 at 12:08 am #

      I thought about going AWOL but I missed you too much Grace 🙂 Rest of life is moving along, as it does. Granny K and hub behaving themselves to the best of my knowledge 🙂 I think having two older siblings has taught Ryu to just stay out of things if he can see they are heading in the wrong direction and mum is about to get her ‘oni’ on. He is very observant. xx

      • Grace April 20, 2015 at 3:19 pm #

        I’m flattered that you would miss me 😜. I would seriously miss you and your stories if you disappeared. Talking of which, any news from chrysanthemumum – it’s a year now since she left for the UK.
        Glad that things are good with you and yours xx

      • gaijinwife April 20, 2015 at 11:37 pm #

        She has made a recent comment which means she is alive, kicking, and in the vicinity of a smart phone or keyboard 🙂 I bet her kids are thriving!

  8. Nicole April 26, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    We have a kid at the kindy where I work who is clearly on some kind of spectrum; he throws himself on the floor and cries all class, and has THE most bizarre fears I’ve ever heard of. I’d list them here, but they’re so ridiculously specific and odd that anyone who knows the kid would immediately know I was talking about him.

    Luckily he’s not in my class; according to his teacher, saying anything to the mother even resembling a comment that her son might have some special needs could land the kindergarten and teacher in court. So unfortunately, even though I’m sure the kindy teachers are aware of Ryu’s classmate’s problem and talk about it amongst themselves, they will not be breathing a word of potential issues to the mother as long as she insists on sticking her head in the sand.

    It’s a shame, really. The kids could be getting much better help if the parents would just own up to the issue.

    • gaijinwife April 26, 2015 at 11:56 pm #

      I totally agree. It really is in the everyone’s best interest, especially the kid’s, to be better informed and able to confront the problem, whether it be with an extra helper teacher or special coaching or medication or whatever. From what I can see about this mother from when I go and pick Ryu up, she really isn’t interested in actually even talking to the teachers. Most of the time she just hangs round the gate until her son comes running out, mutters a quiet sayonara (if that), and leaves!! Of course this is up to the teachers too – to insist she comes up to the classroom at pick up in case the teachers have something they need to talk to her about. I think she probably has issues herself and finds it very difficult to interact with others at a level that you and I would consider ‘normal’.

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Mrs D Is Going Without

Too much wine in rural Japan

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