[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
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
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