A Boy Suffocated in a Plastic Case

In Fukui Prefecture, north-central part of Japan, a father locked his son in a plastic case and left him dead. It’s a tragedy. According to the police, the father said he had had no choice but confine his son “to punish him.” Also, he allegedly told the police that he hadn’t meant to kill him. His remark is a typical excuse for child abuse. The case was about 80 cm in width, about 40 cm in length and about 30 cm in depth. The father left his two-year-old son and three-year-old daughter in the box and found the boy dead about 30 minutes later. I was shocked how small the case was. I can imagine the children’s pain.

As I expected, the father is bombarded with criticism online. While some feel really sorry about the news, others bash him just because they want to criticize someone. Some of them even say “It was the father that should've die,” and “The court should sentence him to death.” I really felt fed up with such emotional comments. If they really criticize this case from the boy’s point of view, what’s the use of bashing the father without a purpose? What we should discuss is the cause of this tragedy. Were the parents just cold and ruthless? Did they feel so stressed out with child raising that they couldn’t help abusing their children? Why did they leave the boy dead? What they were thinking?

Newspapers report that the father said “I put my children in the plastic case because they kept making noises hitting the TV. I told them to stop, but they wouldn't. I didn’t have other choices. I’ve done it several times.” I read that the police suspected that the farther had abused his children on a daily basis. I felt something was wrong. And here is the reason: several days later, I found an article which said the mother and the boy were going to have a counseling session about the boy’s development. According to the article, they planned to use municipal counseling service in the same month the boy died. The father told the police his son had a developing problem. The police suspect that the stress and concern of child rearing led to the abusing.

On the other hand, the article also said the father had been longing for a baby. The family visited the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum last summer, and he told his coworkers his children had been very excited. His boss told reporter that the father “was super-serious, gentle, and a doting father. He never told me that he had any problem about his children. I still can’t believe about the incident.”

So, the son had a developing problem and the father was “super-serious.” This should mean that the father was driven to the edge of desperation which made him lock son in a plastic case. Serious people tend to feel obsessed. The more seriously they think about their children’s situation and their future, the more obsessed they tend to feel. It would be better for parents to think “Well, it doesn’t matter to me what happens to my kids. They will decide what to do with their lives.” It seems that such parents don’t abuse their children (though it might be some kind of neglect of their children).

The father said his children “kept making noises hitting the TV. I told them to stop, but they wouldn't.” It’s easy to imagine how hard it was for the parents who live in an apartment building. It should be hard for parents with ordinary children, but the more so if the children have a developing problem. To me, as a mother of a child with developing disorders, this story isn’t someone else’s problem.

Where do some parents go wrong? What makes them abuse their children? I ask this because no one was born to abuse their own children. It’s meaningless to attribute child abuse to the parents’ personality. No one was born to be a monster. Some parents didn’t have enough affection from their family as they grew up, while others don’t get along with their children. It also depends on their situation. I know a mother who is gentle to her well-behaved daughter. I thought she was an excellent mother because she rarely scolds her. But I was surprised to see the same mother always nagging her younger son, who often makes troubles and needs more care. As you see, no parent is perfect. The question is how we can support parents and their children who have a hard time with their relationship. Blaming the parents makes no difference.

Translated by N. Tajima
Original Article : https://wan.or.jp/article/show/6630