Thursday 17 May 2012

bully or not a bully, that is the question.

Ebi-kun seems to have settled in at school OK despite the bumpy start to the year. He has started to get homework every day, I suppose they need to start at the basics for the kids that haven't had any help from home but I was still surprised he came home with a sheet where he had to match the numbers 1-5 to pictures of 1-5 fish! He also has to do reading practice every night.

Over the last week he has had to take in a urine sample and a bum patch sample (testing for worms) and he gets a full medical and dental check. They seem to do it over the course of 2 weeks, he has also been tested on things like how far he can throw a ball, how fast he can run and how many sit ups he can do. I believe this is done every year up until university. I think it is a great idea especial for those kids whose parents don't take them to the dentist etc. I remember having my eyes and teeth checked at school and of course the visit from the 'nit nurse' but I think that was it.

Yesterday we had the Sensei home visit, it must be knackering for the Sensei's, having to teach a full day and then go round to a handful of kids homes after school for 2 weeks. Anyway, I wasn't sure whether the Sensei would come in or stay in the genkan (entrance area), different friends said different things so I asked the mom down the road so at least I knew I had to clean the whole downstairs and not just the genkan!

Then there is the dilemma of should we serve tea and snack or not, they usually say don't offer anything but then is that rude and you are supposed to offer something anyway? I have no idea and neither does my husband so we followed the rules and didn't offer anything, I probably have a black mark by my name now. Oh well.

Anyway, everything seems to be fine, Ebi-kun is confident and enthusiastic and always helping his classmates. The only issue is with S-kun who keeps hitting him. When he first started another boy in the class was kicking him so my advice was that next time he kicked, Ebi-kun should grab hold of him and in his scariest voice tell the kid if he kicked him again he would tell Sensei. The tactic worked and they are now friends, I imagine it was the whole pecking order thing going on. Back to S-kun who sits in front of Ebi-kun, every day Ebi-kun comes home and complains S-kun has hit him, he tried the same tactic as he used with kicking boy but that didn't work, he has also told Sensei about it but that doesn't work either. 

After talking to Sensei it sounds like S-kun isn't good at controlling his emotions yet. What usually happens is that S-kun turns round and annoys Ebi-kun so Ebi-kun 'tells him off' and S-kun thumps him. So, Sensei has moved S-kun and we told Ebi-kun to just ignore him, hopefully it will sort it's self out.

I don't think this is a bullying instance but it is so easy to jump to that conclusion, especially when you only hear one side of the story. We have talked to Ebi-kun about bullies but not just what they do and why it is wrong but why they do it too, often it is learned behaviour and the child is not really to blame, I explained that the behaviour has to be stopped though before something really bad happens and so he is to tell me if anything happens.

Want to hear my bully story? 
When I was 11 I transferred to a new school and went straight into the 2nd year. One of the boys in my class was the school bully and he would pick out a kid and bully them until they cried and then move onto another kid, I didn't know this at the time. Anyway, we were in music class and the boy was sat behind me being really horrible, pulling my hair name calling etc. for the whole lesson. I turned round and told him to shut it or I would punch him - ripples of laughter from the back row boys (no one punched this kid). By the end of the lesson I was seriously pissed off so as we left, bully boy was stood in front of me, I tapped him on the shoulder then when he turned round I punched him as had as I could in the face. I said 'I warned you' and walked off, leaving him and his mates in silence. I also know that the teacher saw me do it but turned a blind eye.
The outcome, the boy never spoke to me again. He did end up getting expelled from high school for hitting a teacher with a chair or something like that. When I look back now, I wonder what was going on at home to make him turn out the way he did.

So, that is my bully story, do you have one to share?


  1. I remember a couple of the boys pushing me up against a wall and using a ruler to try and measure my none existent boobs. I was a late bloomer - didn't get them till I was 15. They called me surfboard for a few weeks but grew tired of it as would save embarrassment until got home and would just laugh along with them and point out my two sisters had quite nice racks so surely I was due for some soon too.
    Hope the hitting from S-chan stops.

    1. shame you couldn't have turned the ruler on them! and from what i have seen on your blog I doubt they would be calling you names for bing flat chested now ;o)

  2. Oh Jo, one thing i don't know is what to suggest to my boys when they get bullied! I just tell my son that if someone hits you intentionally, then just hit him back. I know this is not so good advice. but is coz from my childhood experience we just didn't stop when we asked.
    A few days ago, my son's class was going to museum and i was going with my son. While waiting for other kids coming, 3 girls were constantly teasing a boy, and when the boy gets angry, he would chase the girls and trying to hit. When girls were hit, they were crying and complaining. So i have held back myself until boy cries himself, went over to the girls and scolded them mouthful.
    I think now girls know that whose mom i was and hope that they won't mess with my son.

    1. I agree, I think the bully needs to know that you are not going take that shit, sad thing is that they will just go and find a weaker person to pick on.

      It is hard isn't it, the mama in you want to go and protect your little one but then you also need to teach them to stand up for themselves.

  3. Hi Jo... :)
    My son also lately told me that his classmates started to call him "chisai-kun, or nezumi" and I-kun even likes to hit him. I asked him if he cried, and he replied, "no, I didn't. Gamanshitano....". Oh man, that word is so heartbreaking!!
    He is so small and sensitive that is unfortunately a perfect target to make fun of. We've been talking about bullying at school too, and that he should tell sensei, but he doesn't have the courage of doing so! Lately if we acccidentaly met his friends on the road, he would stop talking to me in English because he doesn't want his friends to hear us. He said that he's shy to be different and so scared if his friends would make fun of him at school..... :(

    When I was in elementary school, I also got bullied because I was small too. I remembered that I often cried alone in the toilet. I really couldn't remember any good memory throughout my elementary school time (>.<).
    But then somehow I got much stronger in high school. I slapped a tall girl in my class once and since then I got my confidence ;-)

    1. I am so sorry to hear that you and your son have had a hard time of it at school. Have to talked to the sensei about it or sent a note in his renrakucho? I explained to Ebi-kun that sometimes the bully doesn't understand how much 'damage' they are doing so it is important that the sensei knows that this is happening, that helped him get the confidence to 'tell' on the other kid. Ebi-kun doesn't like anyone getting in trouble so he wouldn't tell when a kid at yochien was biting him!

      Unfortunately, hafu kids are likely to be given a hard time here but then if it wasn't their DNA it would be their nose shape or the size of their ears, kids really are quite mean!

      I hope things improve for your son, please let me know how it goes with sensei!


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