momma bear

this is 2 of my girls and our exchange student playing very well together. In the past 7 years, our family has had over 7 exchange students live with us. Some short term and some for 8 months. We have always enjoyed having students, our girls have always included them easily into the family with no to little problems. This year our student has proven to be quite a challenge. I posted a little about it before. We have been really trying to make it work. This little girl is 10 years old, our last student was also 10, and I have to say that she is traumatized. She cries several nights a week. She misses her mom terribly and I can't say that I blame her. In my wildest dreams can I imagine sending my CHILD a mere baby across the world. I have learned more about her home life in Korea and I have come to discover that her problems stem from there. I do feel sorry for this little girl. The mother in me wants to wrap my arms around her, tell her it's going to be ok and comfort her. I am not sure how many of you have tried to hug a child from Korea but it is not something they are mostly accustomed too. Affection is not normal. I think it is slowly changing there as our world gets smaller and country influences country. This little girl does not get affection so when I try to hug her and comfort her she is stiff as a board and not sure what to do with it all.

I don't even know how to describe in all the ways that she is difficult expect that she is. She fights with the girls, she tattle-tales on them ALL the time and it drives them crazy. A friend recently told me that she is probably trying to assert some control in a life where she has no control. She bugs them, talks snotty to them, and when they don't do what she wants she tells them she is going to ask her mom to find her another home stay. She is manipulative. She doesn't let the girls in her room but she gets mad when they don't let her in theirs, which then she stomps to her room slams the door and calls her mother in Korea no matter what time it is for her mom. It's draining. We are her 3rd home stay as the other 2 families found her too much of a handful for them.

all this to say, we are trying really hard to make something that we have never had to TRY to make work, work. We get after our girls when they are mean to her. H does have more issues with her. She has a no tolerance personality for someone who needs a ton of tolerance. I talk to her chaperon a lot keep them abreast of what is going on and they are comfortable with how we are dealing with things. I should say that they trust us that we are doing what we can for her. So last week when my H had a bad morning, she has bad mornings for no apparent reason! she simply just does (part of the testing we are doing with her), anyways by the time the girls had walked to school our student was crying. The teacher asked what happened in which she said H was being mean to her, so then the school counsellor was called in and H was pulled into the counsellor's office with our student. To make a very long explanation short, in the end the chaperon was called, the principal was advised and I was not called! my daughter was being labeled a bully and I was never called in.

To make things worse later my baby walked past Em's class and playfully stuck her tongue out her sister....the teacher saw, called foo over and reamed her out in front of her sister and all the other classmates and foo was totally humiliated. She walked back to her classroom crying, totally afraid of this teacher. Em was also mad and had to bite her tongue from telling the teacher to back off. Then later that afternoon the teacher saw Em and foo walking again and said come here, she asked if foo was H, foo said no the teacher said oh never mind then. Which led me to believe what would she have said if it was H? was she so over the top to Foo b/c she thought she was H, the bully? I was over the top. Momma Bear was ready to show all her claws!

I had a really good conversation with the principal, she agreed that the teacher over reacted, that they would make note not to send H to her class next year. After explaining our home life with our student and assuring her that we do take action when our kids misbehave and are mean. That our student has issues, I think she should go home, so apparently does the teacher (Em and our student have the same teacher) and the school counsellor. By the way did you know that here in BC the school counsellors do NOT have to inform the parents that they have spoken to your child? that they do not have to tell you what they talked about? they have the right to keep it confidential!!! I am NOT ok with that! I want to know what is going on, that is my job not a school counsellor! I want to be called in if there is a problem! I also have not signed the permission slip allowing my girls to see the counsellor and yet they have all been in at different times for different reasons. Again NOT ok with me! I also informed the principal I was very upset by that and I want it on their files they are not to see the counsellor but they are to call me or their dad in!

I didn't have such a good conversation with the teacher. When I told her foo was now freaked of her she gave me a look of shock and denied ever doing anything more than what was called for. She also said she would call the counsellor in as that is her right and part of her job as their teacher. When I asked her if she had an opinion or attitude towards H she also denied it and said the reason she asked foo if she was H was b/c she didn't know the girls names. What??? nice try. So anyways at that point she had to go to class and I could tell this teacher and I were not going to see eye to eye.

I am going to have to go in and meet with this counsellor about our student, it seems that both her and the teacher are going to tell her mom when she comes this month that she needs to go home, that she is not doing well at all emotionally. Then the teacher also told me she seems to be doing worse since she moved in with us, nice! according to our student she loves our home the most, but I have to agree that she is not doing well, even when she seems to be happy, laughing and having a great time later that night we hear her crying. I just don't want her troubles to be blamed on my family I guess. I do want what is best for our student, whatever that may be but sending her home will result in her getting a bad mark, this is what she told me when I suggested she should go home as she misses her mom so much. I also don't think her mom will allow it from what I am learning from her mom.

So for now we just have to pray for her, love on her and get through the next 4 months with grace and tollerance.....just not sure I can have that for this particular teacher :)


Nadine said…
How frustrating to be in a situation like that. It's unfortunate because your girls sounds like they really like having students in their home and this has not been a good experience. I pray that it will get better.
Anonymous said…
Wow, Lise, sounds rough! Did you guys consider Langley Christian school? We are really, really happy with having our kids there. The teachers are so caring and really want to see your child do well, not just acedemically but as a whole person and a child of God. I have noticed that the kids who need extra help get it too. It has been worth the money in so many different ways. Anyway, I could go on and on about how great a school it is, but I wont here. Take care, Laura

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