If you read my previous post about my foreign exchange student breaking the rules, then you may be curious as to what’s been happening.
Last week I sat down with Haru and my husband and had a talk with him, utilizing the safe tactics my therapist discussed with me. I expressed my feelings of anger and feeling disrespected by him breaking the rules regarding electronics usage.
His response? He seemingly did not understand the rules.
I call foul, though at the time, I was sucked in by his performance.
We went over the rules again, in detail. We made sure he understood what device he was allowed to use for how long, and that they all needed to be kept downstairs at all times.
He followed the rules this past weekend just fine, especially because we’re rather lax about electronics use on Saturday and Sundays. However, on Monday he disappeared into his room and I did not see any devices.
I messaged my husband that I did not think he was following rules.
He said that was odd, he followed them over the weekend, he wondered what changed.
My response was that he (my husband) had left that morning.
When I left to take my son to piano practice, Haru was downstairs using his laptop. I was confused. I texted my husband as much. He said that maybe they were being charged on the floor.
I said maybe, but I honestly don’t think I’m that blind. How do you miss a laptop and a phone laying on the floor?
Queue today, and why I think Haru was full of bull plunky.
After dropping the boys off at school, I had to scurry and straighten the house a little to get ready for the cleaners. I wasn’t really ready for them, as I had to get food in the slow cooker before leaving for work.
I went into Haru’s room to put a clean set of sheets on his bed. ‘Lo and behold, sitting on his night stand was a second laptop we knew nothing about.
I was curious, so I just flipped it open really quick to see what he had running. It was a video game, something very Final Fantasy looking.
Now let me tell you, not only did he hide this computer from us, but the students from the foreign exchange program are not allowed to use their computers for gaming, school work only.
I immediately texted my husband what I found. He was just as shocked as I was. And he felt just as deceived as I did.
There is no way this can be chalked up to not understanding the rules, this is straight up deception on his part. He knows the rules as are written by the foreign exchange program, and he knows our rules as well.
My husband said we would address it this weekend. And we would talk consequences.
I’m just really taken aback. I’m not sure what we should do or what I should suggest to my husband. There’s one thing I do not tolerate more than anything, that’s lies and deception. If you don’t have trust in a relationship of any kind, then there’s a breakdown in that relationship. I have a hard time believing anything that comes out of someone’s mouth if they have a history of deceiving me.
I had had a really long talk with Haru over the weekend, when I had to take him to a music store for supplies he needed. We talked about Japanese culture not being family-centric. I had explained Thanksgiving to him and explained how often times a lot of families get together for the holiday. He told me he has uncles and aunts in Japan he’s never met. He explained when children go to university, they don’t really go back and spend much more time with their family.
I asked him about churches in Japan and he said there really weren’t any. He said there were some temples but he had no idea what religion they were. He explained they go maybe a couple times a year, for like New Year and such.
Both the lack of family-life (no accountability at home – he’s given no rules) and lack of faith (no accountability to God) in this young man have given me perspective and have tempered my anger that could have been generated in this situation. I obviously was really unhappy to learn he’s been deceiving us, but the intense anger I expected just didn’t come.
My heart breaks for this young man. He’s ultimately being raised in the way of deception to get what you want out of life. Maybe not necessarily taught to deceive, but with no rules from his parents or guidance from a higher power, he’s not being shown that there are limits in life and why you should respect them.
My husband had tried to tell him why we were enforcing some of the electronics rules, apart from the fact that the exchange program wants us to restrict electronics use. He explained there is more to life than electronics and our job as parents is to help him learn self control, otherwise when he’s out on his own, there’s nothing stopping him from playing video games every waking hour.
I guess that talk fell on deaf ears, since he obviously has his secret computer he’s playing games on at goodness knows what hours of the night and day.
I’m not looking forward to our next talk with him. I’m not one for being harsh and strict, but we’re going to have to let him know his behavior is unacceptable and we won’t tolerate anymore rule breaking or deception. Our understanding and kindness thus far has been taken advantage of and mistaken for us being “easy marks”.
I pray for Haru and will continue to pray for him. I have to believe that every person has a conscience, however small it might be. He has to realize what he’s been doing is wrong, especially considering how much we’ve tried to make him feel at home and part of our family.
I pray we handle the situation correctly and don’t push him towards hating us. Though I honestly think at first, that rebellious teenage spirit will be very angry when confronted. I want nothing more than this young man to grow as a person, to start considering the morality of the choices he makes, and to make good choices.
I’m so anxious about our next talk with him. Mostly I’m anxious about how he’s going to respond to being “found out” about his deception. Will he again try to play dumb? I’m honestly not sure how he possibly could now. But he’s proven to be skilled at deceiving, so my husband and I need to prepare ourselves to hear excuses.
Wish us luck. And if you pray, pray for our little family please – we need all the prayers going up to God that we can get.
Praying God’s guidance and peace upon you as you and your husband deal with Haru’s deception. To be lied to/decieved/disrespected is do hurtful. Especially when you’re the one hosting someone else in your home. I hope Haru tries harder to obey rules and to spend more time with your family as a whole rather than on his own.
It is revealing how much he’s had to be on his own in many ways and striking that he doesn’t know his Aunts and Uncles. My life has been similar in that I only know a handful of Aunts and Uncles and about 15-20 extended family I just don’t know and haven’t bothered to connect with. It can be difficult for certain Asian families to be as close as Westerners and technology but I’m guessing Haru was told about the culture he’d be involved with and this isn’t news to him.
You and your husband have been so patient. I hope Haru will try harder because you guys have done so much on your part.
How is your son coping with all of this?
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Thank you for your prayers. Unfortunately I think all these shenanigans with Haru are affecting my son’s mood, as he’s now showing signs of depression and has expressed feelings of sometimes wanting to die. Not to put it all on Haru’s shoulders, but my son’s mood wasn’t this way before he joined our family and started causing issues. I know my son struggles alot with seeing unfairness and he’s unhappy with the lying – he sees Haru hide his video game behind his laptop and tuck it away when I walk into the room.
My son comes first though and if it keeps affecting him, Haru will understand just how important family is to us.
I’m so sad to hear the negative impact Haru’s disobedience is having on your son. That would be heartbreaking for you and so rough on your son, too. I’ll be holding you all up in prayer xx
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