Announcement

Collapse

The GaijinPot Forum Is Closed

Please join us on our new Facebook Group.
See more
See less

Top

Collapse

Daughter left out in 'shogakko'

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Daughter left out in 'shogakko'

    Hello everyone,
    I have recently found this forum and become a member, to see if I can find a solution for our current BIG problem.

    We are a family of 4 from Iran. We have lived in Tokyo for nearly 5 years now. My daughter started 'yochien' here, and now is '2 nen sei'. In 'yochien', from the very beginning, I noticed that she could not make friends. I was surprised, because she was a very sociable girl outside school. For example, she would approach other children in the park and ask 'isshuni asobo?' Of course she is not like that anymore. She has become very shy, because of all the bad experience that she had in 'yochien' and 'shogakko'.

    Soon I realized the main problem is that we are foreigners, that's why the children do not hang out with my daughter. For example, last week in the park I noticed that the 'oni' would not try to catch "her" in 'onigokko', even when she was quite nearby. This really broke my heart. Recently she complains from headache and belly pain, which I believe are basically psychological, not physical.

    My other child is a disabled 4 year old son, for whom I have to spend a lot of time, so I have not really had time to learn Japanese or to mix with other mothers, which I believe adds to the problem. Before I forget, my daughter is the best student in her class, specially in ekanjif, which I believe again adds to the problem.

    We have even decided to move to another "‹æ" and home-school my daughter, but I thought I seek help here first. I want to know if this problem could be solved somehow? Has anyone had a similar experience? Are Japanese children generally like that with foreigners? Or it is just us?

    Any experience, suggestion, advice is greatly appreciated. I am really worried about my daughterfs physical and mental condition.

  • #2
    As far as I know, we haven't had any such troubles with our children. One factor might be that we are not 'pioneer foreigners', meaning that we are not the first, nor the only foreign faces in our area.

    I try and talk to my kids as much as possible, but you know, they're all at that brooding point where talking with the parents isn't as cool as it used to be.

    I'm sure they've encountered comments and endured stress from the other kids around them at some given point, but never to the extent of what you're going through.

    Can you tell us if you're in a big city or in the countryside?

    That might help with the direction of the advice given.

    Comment


    • #3
      Old Style,
      Thanks a lot for the fast reply. You are actually right. I havenft seen many non-Japanese faces in school. At most 3. A blond girl whose mother is Russian is actually in my daughterfs class, but I havenft talked to her mother to know about her condition. Two of the mothers are also from the Philippines. But their kids look like Japanese children, you know. There are 2 second grades (ekumif) in the school. In the other ekumif, there are no foreigners at all.
      We are in Taito-ku. May I ask you are in which g‹æh? Do you think the problem could be solved if we move to a gmore internationalh district?

      Comment


      • #4
        It's really hard to say anything specific since there can be so many factors. In my experience, my own son had no problem with participating in school and making friends. I have two boys, one like me (very white, green eyes, light hair) and the other like my wife (essentially looks Japanese).

        When we moved house, some of the kids at the new kindergarten joked and said things like "hey, an American" or "Woah, you're a gaijin!". But time passed, they understood he was born in Japan, reads/writes/speaks Japanese has Japanese friends, relatives etc. I've never really encountered any serious problems with him socializing and "fitting in".

        I've taught in the public secondary system here in Japan too. In my experience, I have seen what you (OP) have described but I have also seen the opposite. There have been some really shy kids and some bullied kids (I have noticed these tend to be girls, but not always). But I have also seen "half"/foreign/returnee kids rise to the top of their class in terms of test scores, popularity, sports and so on. Some kids choose to accentuate their difference and others try to play it down or ignore it.

        If I had any advice or ideas I would say:

        1. Where you live can be a big influence on your child's social scene. Making friends with other mothers is so important as a means of creating play dates. It is also important as a way to discuss some of the difficult issues you face with your children's friends parents.

        2. Following from 1. Some areas are snobby. Some areas are backward. Totally depends on the neighbourhood. Since we moved, my wife has found it a bit harder to make friends here but it really just took a little bit longer. Sometimes it takes time, sometimes it's just impossible (or it seems that way). Moving may help you.

        3. As for home schooling - it is your decision, however, removing your child from a social environment can have serious effects. Not always good, not always bad. If you choose this line of action, remember to think about some of the ways in which you can encourage her to participate in society and make friends.

        Comment


        • #5
          It saddens me to read this story, I feel very sorry. I have no experience as I dont have any kids but I recommend you change the yochien, perhaps on that already has 1 or 2 foreign kids so that at least she will have a better time to fit in.

          Also try to talk with the parents of the other kids see if they can do something to make their kids play with your daughter.

          I hope you can find a good solution.

          Comment


          • #6
            No matter where you go in Japan, and no matter how many foreign kids will be in the class (unless if you go to an International School), your kids will have a hard time making Japanese friends.
            These are some things about interracial and 100% non-Japanese blood being born in Japan (hopefully you already know about this):
            http://hafufilm.com/en
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-z2US9YVBZM
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9cTwzko1ZI

            I know both types of these people who either went to international schools or left the country before getting too old.

            If you are looking at integrating into Japanese society/proving a point, you have to explain to your kids about these things and be a big shoulder to cry on/help them out often.
            If you are looking for the best emotional way of life for your kids, moving to a *more* foreigner friendly country (there will always be problems) or going to an international school will be best.

            That said, there are a lot of great parents in Japan who will understand and care about your situation, so they'll work at stopping their kids from doing these things. Just use how much Japanese you can, and keep using it more and more. If the parents speak positively about you around their kids, it will certainly make life better for your kids.

            But I hope everything works out well for you.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by AmishGramish View Post
              dreary absolutist cliches trotted out by either a troll or another wet behind the ears human who has spent more time on the internet than in reality ... snip
              And the absolutes by a GP member who joined this very month with one post to his/her name just keep coming.

              Real? Troll? Who can know these days, post crash Gaijinpot has become a desolate place. Props to some of the regs for keeping it afloat.

              @amish - I think you might want to broaden your experience beyond international schools and youtube. There are literally millions of multi-ethnic and non-Japanese families doing their thing in Japan these days. As a percentage of the population, they may be small but in terms of raw numbers - that's a whole bunch.

              Think about it -ethnic/national origin is only one factor that contributes to the degree to which individuals and families "belong" in Japan. There are so many others, location, socio-economic context, education level, blue collar/white collar, Nikkei South American vs Korean vs Chinese vs old school zairyu vs Western/Anglosphere...

              Trotting out the stereotype without evidence, nuance or detail beyond youtube is simply irresponsible. Do you have children? What did/do you do for schooling? What informed your decisions? Is it possible that your experience may differ from other people's experience? Have you ever heard of "Misery loves company"?

              Things are often more complex in real life compared to generic fantasies peddled in low tier English language newspapers and tired old gaijin forums.


              Comment


              • #8
                First, talking to OP, here's an explanation of how he learned to live with being raised in Japan:
                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p-Y3en_8qks
                Basically, embrace the multiculturalness (he went to an International School) and see that you're not the only one with this problem.

                Originally posted by 6810 View Post

                And the absolutes by a GP member who joined this very month with one post to his/her name just keep coming.

                Real? Troll? Who can know these days, post crash Gaijinpot has become a desolate place. Props to some of the regs for keeping it afloat.

                @amish - I think you might want to broaden your experience beyond international schools and youtube. There are literally millions of multi-ethnic and non-Japanese families doing their thing in Japan these days. As a percentage of the population, they may be small but in terms of raw numbers - that's a whole bunch.

                Think about it -ethnic/national origin is only one factor that contributes to the degree to which individuals and families "belong" in Japan. There are so many others, location, socio-economic context, education level, blue collar/white collar, Nikkei South American vs Korean vs Chinese vs old school zairyu vs Western/Anglosphere...

                Trotting out the stereotype without evidence, nuance or detail beyond youtube is simply irresponsible. Do you have children? What did/do you do for schooling? What informed your decisions? Is it possible that your experience may differ from other people's experience? Have you ever heard of "Misery loves company"?

                Things are often more complex in real life compared to generic fantasies peddled in low tier English language newspapers and tired old gaijin forums.

                I like to troll, but... yeah... you must have some issues. Stating fact is much different than saying racial things about attractiveness of women, hatred towards foreigners, etc. I've talked with a lot of people (from a lot of countries) in Japan, Korea, and the U.S. about their experiences in each country and although I've only lived in Japan and Korea for about three months each (back in Japan now), a lot of my time has been spent just trying to understand what mindsets, ways of life, etc.
                (Before I came to Japan, I honestly thought I'd hate the place due to the whole honne tatemae thing, but it works really well for a society such as this.)

                And what do I have to do for evidence? Post photos/videos of myself with friends, as they kept harrassing every single ƒn[ƒt they met? Asking them where they were from (no, where are you really from), treating them much differently than any given Japanese person, saying that they're so cute because they're ƒn[ƒt, etc.
                Or should I get pictures & chat transcripts of my mixed-race Japanese friends and talk about their troubles and good times in Japan?

                You seem to be really angry and jump to blind conclusions really easily. You should take a chill pill.

                Comment


                • Old Style
                  Old Style commented
                  Editing a comment
                  "You seem to be really angry and jump to blind conclusions really easily. You should take a chill pill."

                  I'm offended at your stereotypes that all foreigners in Japan are pill-poppers with anger issues.

              • #9
                Originally posted by 6810 View Post

                Real? Troll? Who can know these days, post crash Gaijinpot has become a desolate place. Props to some of the regs for keeping it afloat.
                I'd just like to point out that you say this while haranguing someone's first post on this site. In the forum I moderate, this is a bannable offense, because it can only serve to destroy the community.

                Comment


                • Esoteric
                  Esoteric commented
                  Editing a comment
                  If this community banned that, there would be no more community. And I'm guessing this site has been around much longer than yours.

              • #10
                Originally posted by AmishGramish View Post
                I'd just like to point out that you say this while haranguing someone's first post on this site. In the forum I moderate, this is a bannable offense, because it can only serve to destroy the community.
                Well lucky us, because you are not a moderator here ! So head back to the forum you moderate !

                Comment


                • Old Style
                  Old Style commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I vote for T.H.C. as Head Moderator of the forum!

              • #11
                My son went initially to a Japanese school and had no complaints, even though he stuck out by his size and blond hair. I even wanted to buy him a Japanese school bag to 'blend in', but he even proudly wore the colorful one that his grandmother had sent him from Europe.
                Also, being a 'good student' should be a good thing as the school system often has students form working groups and everyone wants to be in the group with the 'good guys'. This, of course, unless she is percevied as being arrogant and unhelpul, but this you could find out by talking to the teacher. Maybe she is especially gifted and would feel more at home with other exceptional students.
                Still, my impression was that kids at that age are still rather friendlkly and unprejudiced so my hunch is that the parents have a negative influence there. From what I have seen, Japanese schools require a heavy involvment of parents (usually mothers) in school activities via the PTA. Not participating in those (such as helping in outings or with school festivals) would already get some negative comments by the other parents. Or -as your family is from Iran- maybe also some cultural or religious customs, such as wearing a Shador or not allowing your daughter to eat the school food, which other mothers might regards as strange. That Japanese also feel rather insecure in dealing with handicapped people (e.g. when friends visit your daughter at home) is known as well. .

                Comment


                • #12
                  Originally posted by lilygz View Post
                  Hello everyone,
                  I have recently found this forum and become a member, to see if I can find a solution for our current BIG problem.

                  We are a family of 4 from Iran. We have lived in Tokyo for nearly 5 years now. My daughter started 'yochien' here, and now is '2 nen sei'. In 'yochien', from the very beginning, I noticed that she could not make friends. I was surprised, because she was a very sociable girl outside school. For example, she would approach other children in the park and ask 'isshuni asobo?' Of course she is not like that anymore. She has become very shy, because of all the bad experience that she had in 'yochien' and 'shogakko'.

                  Soon I realized the main problem is that we are foreigners, that's why the children do not hang out with my daughter. For example, last week in the park I noticed that the 'oni' would not try to catch "her" in 'onigokko', even when she was quite nearby. This really broke my heart. Recently she complains from headache and belly pain, which I believe are basically psychological, not physical.

                  My other child is a disabled 4 year old son, for whom I have to spend a lot of time, so I have not really had time to learn Japanese or to mix with other mothers, which I believe adds to the problem. Before I forget, my daughter is the best student in her class, specially in ekanjif, which I believe again adds to the problem.

                  We have even decided to move to another "‹æ" and home-school my daughter, but I thought I seek help here first. I want to know if this problem could be solved somehow? Has anyone had a similar experience? Are Japanese children generally like that with foreigners? Or it is just us?

                  Any experience, suggestion, advice is greatly appreciated. I am really worried about my daughterfs physical and mental condition.
                  I sympathise with your difficulties. Even though the problem probably stems from you being foreigners, I think you may just have been unlucky - I haven't read many reports of foreign kids having problems at school or kindergarten in Tokyo. A move to a different place and a fresh start may be enough to solve the problem. I wouldn't start homeschooling unless you really have to.
                  Do get involved in the new yochien or school as much as your time allows, smile a lot (sorry if that sounds patronising) and try and get to know the other mothers. Good luck.

                  Comment


                  • #13
                    Originally posted by AmishGramish View Post

                    I'd just like to point out that you say this while haranguing someone's first post on this site. In the forum I moderate, this is a bannable offense, because it can only serve to destroy the community.
                    Like the overheated prophylactic said - go back to where you came from gaijin...

                    or something like that.

                    Wot? You twelve? If so, soz man/babe. Ah dinna mean it. Can we make up? If not and y'all azz is legal... mmm baby, can I moderate witchu?

                    Anyway, back on topic. If you're actually interested in being constructive...

                    Add something new to the conversation like: lessons learned from actual life experience and not simply a greatest hits of youtube clips, pseudo-post-debito-isms, cliches and out of date second hand info. We've all heard that line before, especially those of us who actually have living, breathing children going to Japanese kindergartens, schools etc. Time to upgrade the wetware, meefinkks.

                    Comment


                    • #14
                      Originally posted by lilygz View Post
                      Old Style,
                      Thanks a lot for the fast reply. You are actually right. I havenft seen many non-Japanese faces in school. At most 3. A blond girl whose mother is Russian is actually in my daughterfs class, but I havenft talked to her mother to know about her condition. Two of the mothers are also from the Philippines. But their kids look like Japanese children, you know. There are 2 second grades (ekumif) in the school. In the other ekumif, there are no foreigners at all.
                      We are in Taito-ku. May I ask you are in which g‹æh? Do you think the problem could be solved if we move to a gmore internationalh district?
                      Do you live in Taito-ku Tokyo? As in Ueno/Akihabara?
                      There're tons of foreigners around there, so I can't see what the issue is.
                      Maybe, as Cucashopboy said above me, you just caught an unlucky school / class?

                      Unfortunately, parental interaction is a big thing. At least by one of you.
                      We (meaning, my wife) have to do the rotation thing after school, one day at A house, next at B house and so on.
                      If your child isn't in this loop, it just makes things a little tougher.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        Originally posted by AmishGramish View Post
                        No matter where you go in Japan, and no matter how many foreign kids will be in the class (unless if you go to an International School), your kids will have a hard time making Japanese friends.
                        I have to disagree. My boy hasn't had any problems finding friends in his school, and we live in a semi-rural area with only one other half-Japanese kid int he school. I unfortunately don't have any particular advice to give to the OP, but I can say that it's not bad everywhere, so a change in school may be just what he needs.


                        Comment


                        • Old Style
                          Old Style commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Are you or your spouse active within the school?
                          It sounds like the OP may not be, and I'm wondering if this is causing further isolation as his child grows older.

                        • Esoteric
                          Esoteric commented
                          Editing a comment
                          We aren't particularly active. We do drop him off and pick him up every day, and attend the various events through the year. So our faces are known. But we aren't part of any committees (and actively seek to avoid becoming a member of any said committees).
                      Working...
                      X