Frustrated China father launches pomegranate at son while helping with homework, ruptures boy’s spleen

Illustrative photo

BEIJING: A father in China who lashed out by throwing a pomegranate during a meltdown in the middle of a home tutoring session with his son, hit the boy with the fruit, rupturing his spleen.

The man’s apparent short fuse prompted a heated discussion on mainland social media about having more patience as a parent.

Surnamed Chen, from Wenzhou, in the eastern province of Zhejiang, the man had taken temporary responsibility for helping his son with homework while his wife was working overtime, according to a report by Wenzhou Urban Daily.

He lost his cool when the boy, a Primary Three pupil, nicknamed Liangliang, failed to grasp the solution to a mathematics problem.

The frustrated father lost his temper and picked up a pomegranate from the table, throwing it at Liangliang, hitting him in the stomach.

The boy screamed in pain when the fruit hit him, but did not appear to have suffered any lasting damage. Until the next day.

At that point he was complaining about abdominal pain and had to be taken to hospital, where a ruptured spleen was diagnosed.

Doctors warned that the spleen ruptures easily, which in some cases can lead to life-threatening bleeding and a possible need for it to be removed.

The incident has prompted criticism on mainland social media over the lack of patience in parenting.

“This father has ruined his son’s life! Having the spleen removed is irreversible damage. If I was this child, I would never forgive him,” said one online observer on Weibo.

“It reminds me of when I was a child and my dad threw a remote control at me. I was half numb at the time,” said another.

“Why should parents be responsible for tutoring their children with homework? This should be the responsibility of the school,” said a third.

In China, causing serious injury due to negligence is punishable by up to three years in prison.

However, if the victim and their family do not report the incident and the police do not intervene, the matter will be set aside.

“For situations that may be identified as domestic violence or constitute criminal acts, even if the victim or family members do not actively report to the police, once such behaviour is discovered by relevant organisations or individuals, they also have a responsibility to report,” He Bo, a lawyer from Sichuan Hongqi Law Firm, told the Post.

“Everyone is equal before the law, regardless of the relationship between family members, domestic violence is prohibited,” he said.

It is common in China for parents to tutor their children with homework.

In 2020, parents of Primary One school students spent an average of 7.19 hours a week tutoring homework, according to the Chinese Family Tracking Survey.

More than half of the students felt constrained by parental homework tutoring, according to the 2020 Chinese Language Education Development Report.

Emotion-charged situations often develop as a result.

In April, a frustrated mother from Jiangsu province in southeastern China lost her temper while helping her son with homework.

She tried to kick him but hit a wall instead, fracturing her toe.

In September 2021, a man from Hunan province in central China became so angry while tutoring his daughter that he dislocated his own jaw. - SCMP

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