A primary school boy in Singapore takes 'revenge' on classmate. What is the world coming to, little children are taking 'revenge"?
They are only in Primary 3. Aren't they too young for such behaviour?
What happened in school
According to The Straits Times, this incident took place last Wednesday, at a school in Jurong, when the Primary 3's were having their recess.
A 9-year-old boy decided to play a nasty prank on his fellow classmate, a girl. Apparently, he wanted to help his female friend take 'revenge' on her. So he secretly added liquid hand soap to the girl's water bottle, when no one was around.
The girl later took sips from the bottle blissfully unaware of what lay in store for her. Within about 20 minutes, she ran a fever and vomited twice in school. Her father was called, and informed about her condition.
When she got home, it was the maid who first suspected foul play, when she opened the water bottle for cleaning.
The maid noticed that the water bottle smelt strongly of Dettol. The presence of soap bubbles added to the suspicion. The girl's father reported the matter to the school and took her to hospital. The hospital later reported the case to the police.
Lianhe Wanbao were the first to report on the incident and the girl apparently told them that she had seen the boy laughing when she drank from the water bottle. He had also earlier expressed his desire to 'poison' her.
According to The New Paper, ironically, the Dettol liquid hand soap the boy poured into the water bottle was actually a prize won by the victim at a lucky draw held in school that day. It had been left on a desk in the classroom.
The boy it seems, is remorseful now, after learning of the consequences of his actions. He, together with his mum and a teacher visited the girl in hospital later that night and said sorry to her. The boy's mother apologised to the family too.
The boy's mum is reported to have said that the boy had very few friends in school, and did not want to lose out on his friendship with the other girl, which is why he committed this mistake.
Police are still investigating the incident.
Controlling revenge seeking behaviour in children
One of the first thoughts that came to mind upon hearing of this incident was "Really? Children that young are 'planning' on harming a child? Are they capable of 'revenge' already? Are they growing up too fast?"
The tendency to take 'revenge' in children is believed to be part of a power struggle; the child feels unaccepted, that he doesn't count, and he is of little value in the world. He is thus tempted to do something that would make him noticed, and establish that he is powerful.
As parents, how we react to such situations may make a whale of a difference in how the child manages his emotions. Here are some tips:
- Maintain a positive relationship: You might be furious, but its important for the child to know that come what may, there is someone in the world he can confide his true feelings in. Listen empathetically, and try not to judge.
- Let him know that you still love him: Use your love as a tool to reform your child. Never give up on him.
- Avoid retaliative punishments: Breaking your son's car because he broke your daughter's doll may seem the right thing to do in that fit of rage, but do avoid this sort of tit-for-tat punishments. The child may feel even more resentful. Perhaps, you could advise your child on how he can make amends for his bad behaviour. Do chores maybe to earn money to buy a new doll?
- Spend quality time: It is important to spend more time with revenge oriented children, as it is quite obvious that they are in need of attention and love. Do not alienate him; he will end up feeling even more lonely and miserable. Focus on the positive and the good. Don't forget to provide positive feedback for positive behaviour.
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