This piece of news really shocked us. A 7-year-old girl was beaten to death by her own mother, for eating too slowly.
The incident happened in Shandong province, China, on 3 Aug 2019.
PHOTO: China Press
Little child beaten to death for eating too slowly
According to news reports, the girl, Guo, was having lunch with her family. Her mother was irritated that she was eating too slowly.
She warned the child that she would get beaten up if she continued to eat slowly. After repeated warnings, the mum apparently lost her cool, and asked the daddy to leave the room.
According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), the mother then beat the child with an iron rod repeatedly. The father, it seems, was too scared to stop his wife.
“I did not dare to stop my wife. She also hit me when I tried to stop her from beating the child,” he was quoted by SCMP as saying.
By the time, the father re-entered the room, the child’s body was covered with bruises and wounds. He tried to take his daughter to the hospital, but reports say that the mother stopped him.
The child’s condition soon worsened, and the father took her to hospital at about 5pm. It was too late though. In spite of receiving emergency treatment, the little girl died 2 hours later.
Her funeral was held on 6 August 2019. The mother has been arrested by the police.
How can parents control the urge to cane their kids?
As parents, we have all been through situations like this, where we get irritated by our kids eating too slowly, or not eating enough. Sometimes, we let our emotions get the better of us and resort to beating our kids, when they refuse to listen to us.
The reason caning works, is because of its shock value and the clear, deterring message that it sends across almost instantly. Caning gives parents that superior feeling of power and authority, and provides instant release of tension and frustration.
But what if you went too far? What if today’s rage just destroyed your child’s tomorrow?
Can we shift to a more non-violent method of discipline instead? Here are some tips:
- Get Calm: You have probably had a really rough day and feel like you are on the verge of losing your mind. When you feel like you are getting out of control, try to leave the situation. Maybe go to another room, but do not leave the room in anger or defeat. You could say, “I’ll be in the next room if you want to talk to me.”
If you really can’t leave the situation, try the reliable ‘count to 10’ method for some much needed release.
- Never hit a child when you are angry: You are merely releasing your own frustration, and hitting a child in such a situation will merely lead to physical harm and undesirable consequences. If you can feel that mad rage getting to you, take a time out and ask yourself these questions:
- Why am I going to hit my child?
- What am I trying to teach him?
- What will he really learn?
- Is hitting the only option that I have? Am I going to hit my child to help him reduce the behaviour or am I simply releasing my own anger?
- Can he learn that lesson without me hitting him?
You will find that by simply taking some time out to think about these questions, you have calmed yourself a bit and are now thinking more rationally.
- Be kind but firm: An effective way of discipline is to get down to your child’s level, make eye contact, touch him gently and advise him, in a kind but firm manner. Getting down to your child’s eye level automatically makes you less intimidating.
Another alternative to hitting is giving your child a choice between rectifying her mistake and a ‘bad’ alternative. For example: “Would you like to stop playing with your food or would you like to leave the table?”
- Explain the consequences: Instead of punishing by hitting, aim for making the child accountable for his mistakes. Punishing might merely lead him to be very scared and he may try to cover up or hide his mistakes in future. Instead, emphasise on what the child has learnt from the mistake, and how he can make amends for it. This does good for the child’s self esteem.