Why I have to adopt.

This really makes me feel like a horrible person, but it's true, so I might as well admit it: Part of the reason I would want to adopt an older child if I decided to have children is that I'd be really afraid I'd have a kid like Soonhyeon. Soonhyeon is a crier. I mean, not like a sweet, overly-sensitive crier. But a whiny, bitch-ass crier. Soonhyeon continuously starts shit with the other students because they say something off the cuff and he decides it needs to be an issue. And then he won't shut the fuck up about it until the other kid yells at him to just let it go. And then he cries.

Like today, when he came in and I asked him what he did yesterday, he answered that he had studied hard. Minjae cracked a joke that he was a liar. Soonhyeon kicked off. He was not a liar. He had studied hard yesterday. How could Minjae know what he had done yesterday? He didn't even talk to Minjae yesterday.

Minjae: Yeah whatever. It was a joke. Forget it.

Soonhyeon: It's not right to call someone a liar when you don't even know if they are lying or not. I studied at hagwon all day yesterday and then I went to the library afterward. I'm not a liar. I don't tell lies. You can't say that I'm a liar. How would you even know?

Minjae: Seriously? I said it was a joke. Let it go.

Soonhyeon: But you can't just call someone a liar like that! You don't know anything about it! I AM NOT A LIAR!

Minjae: Just shut up!

Soonhyeon: [Crying.]

He's like this every day. Another pressing issue that arose today that he wouldn't shut the fuck up about was the fact that the electric kettle was on the table in front of him, and, therefore, he had slightly less space to write in than the other students. Instead of just moving the kettle forward a bit, he harrassed Minjae endlessly, endlessly to move over and give him more space, because it wasn't fair.

I have a lot of patience for a lot of different personality types in kids. I have a lot of tolerance and understanding for a lot of behavior I come across. This. This is the one thing I cannot deal with. If I had a kid that behaved like Soonhyeon, I would fucking destroy him. Not on purpose. I would tell myself over and over that, somehow, he can't help it. But it wouldn't work all of the time. It's barely been getting me through the two hours a day I've been spending with him for the last two weeks.

No. I need to adopt. Because, first of all, being pregnant and giving birth are two experiences I really don't feel the need to have. At all. But also because me and a whimpy kid would not stand a chance together. I'll just snatch one up who has a thing for fire or knives or something. That would be manageable.


Foreigner Joy said...

Saddest part is that this student needs to get counseling. Instead they are being shuffled to a private school then taken home to study.

Graeme said...

In my time dealing with Criers and Shit Disturbers, I've found that the best thing to do (especially while other students are busy actually working) is to pull said student aside, and calmly discuss the problem.

"수현, Why are you crying? Because you had less room? Why did you have less room? OK, whose kettle is it? Well, yes, it's the class's, but that means it's mine. So when something belongs to someone and it's in the wrong place, what can you do? Well, you have two choices. One, you can move it away and tell the person why, or you can talk to the person and ask them to move it. So if this happens again, that's what I want you to do, okay?"

While it is somewhat labourious, especially when the other students are distracted by said Crier, I've found it's great for shutting them up afterwards when they start to raise shit by cutting them off. "수현, what did we talk about before? And how do we deal with it? Thank you!". The positive reinforcement at the end really hammers it home.

I feel kind of bad for the guy, though--he's been stuck with a typically female Korean name.

(New reader who found you through The Korean--great read here!)

I'm no Picasso said...

See, this is where I'm different I guess. I don't believe that Soonhyeon needs counseling, or for someone to explain things to him slowly. Maybe you're not aware, but I teach middle school. Soonhyeon is fifteen years old.

Soonhyeon needs to understand that he doesn't get to endlessly aggravate other students because he is having an issue. Soonhyeon needs to be taught to handle his own problems. He needs to be told to move the kettle himself and then asked if that was easier or harder than annoying Minjae to move over for the better part of ten minutes. When the issue is then handled, and Soonhyeon continues to bitch at Minjae under his breath where he thinks I cannot hear or understand, Soonhyeon then needs to be told that the situation is finished, and he has two choices: 1. Be quiet and leave it alone or 2. Go out into the hallway alone until he can calm down.

In my opinion.

fatface_3500 said...

My lord, at FIFTEEN?!
I'm totally with you on this one, Soonhyun needs something to kick his brain into action and make him realize his behavior is not at all acceptable.

Jess said...

Sounds like a case of SSS (Special Snowflake Syndrome). I currently have one also. It's at the point where I just want to punch him when he starts up with the whining and constant bids for attention. (No crying, but he's like thirty goddamn years old ffs so he should have outgrown the whinging by now too.)

CeilingofStars said...

Is it possible he has a personality disorder (maybe histrionic)? If it were a younger child, I would say it was likely due to problems at home, but with a kid that's 15, he really should be embarrassed at crying in front of his peers. If it is a PD, then it's very unlikely that counseling or anything else could help him. I feel bad for him (and for you), but...well maybe he came into your life for a reason? Patience, Liz! :D

Anonymous said...

He sounds exactly like a student I used to teach in Brooklyn, he was 13 and his mother still dressed him every morning. Ugh. But after a while he started to creep me out-- I was afraid he might snap-- thankfully he never did. I agree with Graeme-- speak to him privately, and then if he continues to be a nightmare, deal with him swiftly and publicly-- there is olny so much the other kids (and you) should have to put up with.

Graeme said...

The reason I like taking my tack is because it gives me a legitemate reason to snap at the Crier once they start doing it again.

Sadly, I teach young adults (20-24) and get almost exactly the same thing. I teach at a yuhak in Canada which has almost entirely Korean students, and rather than being stuck in my class, they complain at my boss. Luckily, I have a very understanding and competent boss who sees right through their complaints ("He picks on me!" "He never lets me talk!" "He..." etc etc).

To each his or her own, though, I have faith you'll power through!

Lolimahro said...

With any amount of effort, my two-years-four-months-old kid will not end up like this either, even though this is totally his personality right now. And I do get pretty irritated with him sometimes when he makes up illnesses and whines about them, because it's a learned behavior (which I did not teach him). And then he dive-rolls into the bookshelf and gets a fat black bruise on his forehead and he walks away all smiley like he's just been for a walk in the park on a spring day.

I guess this is why I'm glad I'm teaching first grade this next year...at least when they exhibit this kind of behavior, I feel like I can intervene and teach them some new habits before they stick.