Child abuse is one thing I will never ever be able to forgive, but recently it is happening quite often in Japan. Yuko Fukumoto, 34, and her husband Tetsuya, 35, were arrested for allegedly assaulting (child abuse) and murdering their 9-year-old son Haruki at their home in Osaka. It was reported that he died of a ruptured stomach caused by punches(?) from his parents. Another heartbreaking case of child abuse happened in June.
Abused girl, 5, died begging for parents’ love and their forgiveness
Harrowing details in a case of child abuse emerged with the arrest June 6 of a couple over the death of their 5-year-old daughter. In spite of beatings, a near-starvation diet and gross neglect, Yua Funato kept craving her parents’ approval, begging in a notebook to “please, please, please forgive me” and promising to be better behaved…Her notebook, written in hiragana and found in their apartment, demonstrated desperate pleas for forgiveness. “Please, please, please forgive me. I will make sure I can do more things tomorrow than today without daddy and mommy needing to tell me what to do,” said one entry. “Really, I will never repeat the same things. Forgive me. I will correct what I was unable to do yesterday and what I have done every day,” said another. In a pitiful cry for help and affection, she wrote: “I am sorry that I played so much like a fool. I will stop doing a foolish thing like playing. I will never ever do that. I do promise. “
(from The Asahi Shinbun)
As a parent of two sons (a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old), I almost cried when I read her message in the newspaper. I know how hard it is to be a parent of young children because I am one. No matter how tired I am, I need to read books to them, play with them, take a bath with them, prepare meals for them, etc. When I am taking care of them, I don’t have any time to check my emails, write blogs, or even touch my smartphone. And this happens every day. Yes. EVERY DAY! And it feels like it will last FOREVER!!! So sometimes I get stressed out and yell at my children, but I always regret it and apologize to them after I cool down. I think that’s what happens to many parents, and I believe it is an important path for people to go through to become responsible adults. I was often told that it is not “you are raising your children,” but instead it is “they are raising you,” and I believe it is true. But some parents are different. They don’t really take care of their children. I often see parents let their iPad do the babysitting. I have also seen many parents text while their children are around, and they get irritated when they were interrupted by their children. You will see this everywhere in Japan, especially if you go to a family restaurant.
I wish I could tell them “Hey! They are your children, right? YOU should look after them. Not your smartphone or tablet.” Do you know why? Because I care about their children. Not them, but their children. Because I think it is very important for their children to receive love from their parents especially when they are young, and they will not be able to receive it from iPhones or iPads. I strongly believe children who don’t get enough love from their parents when they are little will have a higher tendency to act up and misbehave in class because they want attention.
In Japan, I think one of the ways to decrease the number of misbehaving children in elementary schools is to tell their parents not to use their smartphones while they are with their children. I think even this small action will make a big difference, but I don’t think it’s possible because they are addicted to their smartphones…Shame on you, Steve Jobs.