Thursday, 7 February 2013

The Bullying Update

First off, I would like to thank everyone for their kind words and support, sorry I haven't had chance to answer everyone personally. 

If you are reading this and wonder what I am talking about, the first post is HERE.

So, Tuesday, finished with Sensei visiting the 2 bully's homes and then called here to tell Ebi-kun what was going on and that the boys would be apologizing the next day.

Wednesday, Ebi-kun went off to school, he walks to school with a different bunch of kids, even so, he wasn't his usual chipper self. Of course, I spent all day worrying - like you do!
He got back all smiles and in a great mood. He told me that when he got to school R-kun (main instigator) came over to him and apologised, without Sensei telling him. Then a bit later Sensei had all three  boys together and talked to them, more apologies.

I asked Ebi-kun if he thought R-kun was really sorry or just saying sorry because he had been told to, he believes R-kun was being genuine. The reason I asked was that I had remembered an incident last term when L-kun (the other boy involved) broke Ebi-kun's umbrella. At the time, I put it down to boys arsing around, now I am not so sure. Anyway, L-kun's mom arrived that day with a new umbrella, cookies and a thousand apologies, he son on the other hand was no apologetic and gave a flippant 'gomen'. From what I can gather L-kun only apologised when sensei made him do it.

Ebi-kun and L-kun have known each other for quite a while, they played together in the same park when they were little, it was L-kun who broke the cherry tree saplings and L-kun's mom apologised to me after L-kun punched Ebi-kun, blaming it on the TV programmes he watches (Ultraman et al). She should thank her lucky starts that my Japanese isn't that good or she would have been going home with serious earache that day!

Ebi-kun walked home yesterday with L-kun and a few other kids from his class, R-kun had been picked up from school for swimming class so he wasn't there. Ebi-kun said that nothing happened on the way home, so I am hoping that will be the end of it.

The tough-nut in the class, is a boy fondly known in our house as mullet-boy and he lives just round the corner. Him and Ebi-kun are friends but not best mates, Ebi-kun did say that no one picks on him when mullet-boy is walking home with them, trouble is mullet-boy's mom works so he goes to after school club two or three times a week.

So, now we wait and see. I am impressed with how quick Sensei reacted and dealt with the situation. We haven't had the 2 boys come round to the house and apologise, which is what I was expecting - it is the Japanese way. Today I will bake some cake or cookies for the moms who stepped in, the English speaking mom has a 2nd grader boy, the other mom has a boy who I am guessing is 3rd grade, they have invited Ebi-kun to go and call round to play sometime, so I will encourage him to do that.

Previous to this incident, we had already decided to take Ebi-kun to Aikido to see how he likes it. We think it is the martial art most suited for his personality and one that fits with our beliefs. Akido is a way to defend yourself whilst protecting the attacker from injury, it doesn't need physical strength as the person uses the other persons force and displaces it. The other thing is that there is a strong emphasis on training the mind and body to stay calm in stressful situations. This is why the Japanese riot police have to undertake one year of intensive Aikido training. We will see how it all goes on Sunday. 

The silver lining in all this is that because that mom stepped in, we are now aware of the situation and Ebi-kun now knows that 'he doesn't have to get used to it'. 

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