[LMB] Fat shaming, slut-shaming, and special snowflakes

M. Haller Yamada thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 17 07:03:02 GMT 2016

My two cents: you should bring it up. Any action taken should be by your 
son or daughter-in-law, though. 

Some things to consider: is there any reason why you wouldn't talk to your 
son about this, and have him deliver your suspicions?

I don't know how you planned to frame your suspicions, but I think if you 
go in with an "I-statement" (such as, "I've been very worried about the 
situation") and then follow up with a suggestion (such as, "Do you think 
someone might be stealing her things at school?"), then she can reassure or 
dismiss you as she pleases. Don't be dismayed if she dismisses you at 
first; it may take a little time for the idea to take hold.

Can you ask your granddaughter directly? If the kid tells you and doesn't 
tell Mom, I can see family-power-struggles happening, but it might set your 
mind at ease. If your suspicions are correct, you can encourage her to talk 
to her mom, her dad or a teacher. 

If it is a case of forgetfulness, as a grandparent you can stay out of the 
discipline side of things. (Yay! right?) But if you think it might be a 
symptom of something that can be treated, it'd be good to talk about that 
with your son. If you want to bring it up with your daughter-in-law, you 
might be better off being very round-about. "So, what does her pediatrician 
have to say about all this?" And listen, say "hmmm" sympathetically, and 
let her know that it must be very frustrating to see these things go 
missing from her end of the deal. 

Also, we don't want to "blame the victim" but in Japanese schools, there 
are strict rules about what one may or may not take to school. Kids would 
never bring money for a book fair . . . if they ordered books, they'd pay 
for it directly to the teacher in an envelope. Toys also don't go to 
school; teachers confiscate them. Missing clothing would be dealt with 
quite quickly (especially in our climate!). The teacher would talk with the 
student about why the clothing is missing, and work with the student to 
figure out ways to prevent missing clothing from happening. If other 
students are involved, they would be brought in as well. Boring self-
reflection meetings seem to be remarkably useful in preventing crime . . . 

It's not feasible for a North American child to go to school without a coat 
in December. 
But limiting what goes to school is an effective band-aid. The real reason 
for the missing items must be found and addressed, I think. Bullying and 
unusual memory lapses are alarming situations. "Being an eight-to-ten-year-
old" may be the real reason, and it will certainly be a comfort to know 
that that is the case, if it is.

Good luck with solving the mystery, and I hope things can be brought to a 
good resolution. 


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