Oct 3, 2008

sigh...how come you did such a thing

I am grateful to have two children, a daughter and a son, and I want to believe that I'm properly looking after them.
However, I often lose confidence in my way of child rearing, especially to my son.

My son is 9 years old and all he is interested in now are baseball and trading card game.
I don't like spending precious money, my partner earned from his tough work, on such a rubbish, trading cards, so I have bought small number of cards for him.
Though, he have quite many cards now, and one time I asked him why you had so many cards. His answer was that his friends had some cards they didn't need anymore, so he got some from them. That's quite true there are some parents don't mind to buy cards, so I simply believed his words at that time.

But, now, I know the the trick how he managed to have such large number of cards.
While I was looking for triangle rulers in his desk, I found 8 pieces of one thousand yen note! stuck between school notebooks.
This is it!
He might have sneaked out some money from the envelope I'm keeping some money at home, and bought cards without bothering to tell me.

Finding this money, I asked him casually one more time how he got trading cards, and his answer was just the same as before.

I didn't know what to do, so I simply took that money away from his desk, and said nothing about that.
I assume that he would sometime realize that his money's gone and I knew his malicious act? all the way through.

I had no need to worry about my daughter sneaking money out, so I carelessly kept some money in the box, but this time I learned a harsh lesson that my son cannot be trusted the way I trust my daughter...sigh


Chico said...

Oh... I hope he's learned his lesson and never happens again. I have two younger brothers and all of us would never dare to touch my mum's money for we know the consequences of our action would be so harsh that we can't even imagine. However, when we were kids, we knew that she was always open to what we asked. If we have some convincing reasons and she thought it wouldn't be harmful to us, she somehow provided whatever we asked. Sometimes it took a year to get what we asked but we did as long as we convinced her once. Convincing her, however, was not easy but at least we could give it a try. And we had to work for that. For instance, helping her chores.
Sometimes, tiny little thing for adults can be such crucial matters for kids. Perhaps your son's trading cards are one of the necessities for his life at the moment. Giving something freely don't get anyone anywhere but buying a few cards in return of his work won't hurt so much and save a lot of pain in stomach. That is if these cards meant to him so much. My daughter earns 100 yen a week by helping my class and she can use the money as she like. Guess what! She used them for stupid meaningless things for a while but she doesn't use them for herself anymore. She use them to buy me
a birthday present. Which I didn't expect at all.
I think this is a great chance to teach him there are some (perhaps morally right) ways to get what he really want. And the way wouldn't be super easy, in fact it can be challenging, but it surely better than feeling guilty and jumpy all the time.
Just an idea.

mrs. malone said...

Hi Chico! Being a mother of a boy is a joyful thing but, you like it or not, you should be tough and tolerable. There was a meeting of my son's baseball team yesterday, so I asked one of the mothers if his son has ever done such a sneaky thing, and I expected her answer would be no because her son looks so well behaived. Surprisingly, she told me that her son has gone too much and bought a DS! She says the fourth grade is the most dangerous time for boys, so be patinent for a while, then you'll meet a decent boy again once he is in the fifth grade. I truely hope so.
BTW, this morning I watched the video you put on your blog and tried to move the same, but my body is too rigid and heavy to hold...^^

chico said...

Dear emmie
I'm so sorry for sounding really preachy yesterday. somehow I was in a all-knowing mood yesterday and deeply regret what I've said. I've got to be careful with my words.
Anyhow, I'm glad that you've already got a wonderful advice from an experienced mum.
Today, I'm in mind-my-own -business mood. Which is the way supposed to be.
Best regards

mrs. malone said...

Morning Chico!
What's that sorry for? you know, "I love you just the way you are" in Billy Joel. ^^
I don't have any brothers and my sister is 12 years older than me, so I was like an only child. This makes me bit difficult to take care of children, especially boys I guess. you says that you were all-knowing mood. I know too well that! since my mother, my grandpa and grandma, my uncles..., you name it, I have quite a number of people surrounding me with should- should mood. I'm always aware not to be one, but afterall, whether I like it or not, I have to admit it's like heritage.mmm
The mother, who adviced me the other day, told me that boys have rather quiet time in the fifth and sixth grade, but after that brief period of silence, I may be shocked by much troublesome things like alcohol, smoking etc. Tohoho...
I said to my son that I'm going to use your way of OKOZUKAI system, 100 yen a week, instead of giving him 400 yen a month, and it looks like he's more intended to earn his reward. One of his small duties is listening to my reading aloud of ORT^^ and I was able to read it after such a long time. I hope it works for a while.
nice day, today!

chico said...

Hi, emmie. I just wanted to thank you for such a heart-warming words. It was really interesting to know that your childhood. I have two younger brothers but one is 4 years younger and the other is 6 years younger. which means that I spent my childhood as a princess of the family, quite spoiled I must admit.
And my mum is an ex-teacher as I mentioned before and she also has really strong belief towards life. She was the bible for us and I felt lost when I realized she wasn't the all mighty god after all. She is just a human like everyone else. Perhaps it affects the relationship between my daughter and me. I don't play the all-mighty-god roll with her for I know that the disappointment she would feel later on would be much greater than that of mine.
Yesterday I heard such a tragedy of teenagers of my town. They called their school one morning and said they would kill some kids on that day. All the teachers got panicked and all the elementary as well as Jr.h. school students had to go home earlier under teachers and parents' supervision. Some kids got too scared to go to school next day. This incident was investigated by the police and three of the 9th graders were caught and put in a juvenile facility. The reason they did such a silly thing was they wanted to get out of school as soon as possible. This is quite serious message to adults from them.
I've heard this story from a mother of a boy whom I scolded because of his behavior yesterday. According to his mum, those kids,who are in the facility currently, are seniors that he respects. I can't judge anything from her story. All I could say was my reaction towards his attitude was all wrong. I should have known that something must have happened on him when I noticed the change of his attitude. Then I regretted all I've said and done yesterday for I seriously felt I was the one who needed a help. I hope he would give me a second chance or third or fourth until I get it like you do.
Thank you again.

Sen~or said...

Hola, emmie-san. This article is so interesting to me that I couldn't help write my comment.

My son is 8 years old and is crazy about baseball, Nintendo-DS, and Yugioh cards! All the boys are the same...

Well, I have to confess. When I was a kid, I sometimes lifted some money from my mother's purse...When I was a junior high student, I started to smoke... Fortunately I can't drink alcohol so I didn't drink, anyway, hahaha.

But I had to face some "harsh" consequences with my father's anger...

One thing I'm sure now is your boy will have to pay for that, LIKE I DID!

It's tough to be a parent, anyway. But we have to take it easy.

By the way, which is your son's favorite baseball team? Dragons?

Wintersweet said...

Oh, it's stressful being a mom, huh?

Does your son have an allowance? Even if he's young, I think it's good for him to learn to save up for things and manage some of his own purchases.

But I get the impression that allowances are not so common in Japanese society. My Japanese friends here in the US have a 15-year-old daughter who gets no allowance. I imagine her American friends must find this pretty shocking. I think my parents gave me about $20 a week when I was in high school--they considered it a lesson in responsibility. They still bought most of my clothes, etc., of course. I used the money to do things with my friends, buy small fun things, etc. If I wanted a big thing I would either save up for it or talk to my parents about whether it was something I really needed (such as a computer). If I really needed it, they'd buy it for me.

Is it common to give no allowance to kids in Japan, or are my friends unusual? :)

Hang in there!

mrs. malone said...

》》Hello Chico,

sorry to hear the story of Jr. h. kids. I think our society is now on the verge of the existing old system and the new unknown world. This uncertainty in adult world affects a lot in the mind of kids, but schools in Japan don't give them any chances to consider what kind of future they really want to have, and to make it come true, what they should do just now...kind of things. Schools are always stressful and this is undoubtedly getting worse. As you wrote that you regretted the scolding but I think he may as well take it as affection and concern of you toward him as long as your anger doesn't come from the ordinary 'you should or you'd better' kind idea but from the bottome of your heart. I'm sure you'll find a way!

》》Hola, sen~or san!
excuse me, I made you confess your sin^^; but it's a relief to know even you did kind of lifting and, well, smoking...
Since my partner doesn't smoke, I'm curious about what was your trigger of smoking, and why there are some continue to smoke and some don't??? Aren't there any good way to keep my boy away from smoking? I hate the smell of tobacco...and I lost my father because of long time habit of smoking "peace", strong one, I guess.
About baseball, I'm not a big fan of baseball, but my partner and I are originally from Kansai, so naturally , Hanshin is the most familiar team for us. One time I met two men holding yellow flags or something on the subway in Tokyo, and couldn't help asking, "are you a Hanshin-fan?...," As for my son, his hometown is Kurume in Fukuoka, so he likes softbank Hawks. I like that team, too, because there are quite good looking guys in that team.^^
I thought you are a biiiig fan of football, but not your son? My son used to belong to both soccer and baseball teams, but he chose baseball after all.
Today, I'm going to read the rest of "a wild sheep." only one third is left and getting teresting ^^

yes, Okozukai is allowance in English...
Oh, giving allowance to kids is common in Japan, and of course, I started to give allowance to my daughter when she was in elementary school. but she is not so interested in buying things and doesn't ask me to give her allowance, so I tend to forget...
But this time. I've decided to be more strict to my son and told him that he can get about $1,00 every Mondays if he succeed to do his chores and study without scolding from me.
I'll see what's going to happen.
How are you doing these days.
I hope you could come to こども式 site, because I'm sure you will have more messages in こども式site than SSS site, where you wrote an message several weeks ago.
Actually, people coming to こども式 and sss are a bit different.
people who think extensive reading as merely a method of learning English tend to gather in sss.
people who enjoy! extensive reading, regardless of having conspicuous progress of English or not, tend to gather in こども式。

Wintersweet said...

はい、簡単本を読みました。(From the Leveled Readers series...and also, I bought a few Japanese children's books last weekend at Book-Off in San Diego. I wish we had Book-Off in Northern California.)

I'll try to use the bulletin boards more! I just get intimidated easily by trying to read Japanese. You probably don't have that feeling when you read English anymore. ;)

Are you still using Twitter or did you give up? I'm wintersweet there too...

mrs. malone said...

Hi wintersweet!

how much are those children's books in Book-Off US? 高いんだろうなー。日本から、送ったほうが、安いのかな?
I would like to read your comment about those books on your blog.

You know, I'm now able to read many English sites, but I'm always irritated that I can't grasp the meaning of the sites just one glance as I do in Japanese.
Also writing this blog sometimes discourage me. I want to write what I'm concering more acculately, but my English writing ability doesn't allow me to do it to the full.
It takes a long time to be able to use other languages freely, so I'd like to enjoy and cherish the road to reach a certain goal.
Tadoku enables me to do it.