Complex child, parent relationship

2012-01-11 00:00

NARRATED in the voice of a six-year-old boy, the book starts off rather slowly. A boy with too much energy walks with his father to the park.

If you are a parent you will understand the father’s irritation at the child’s constant demands. The boy is not naughty — he is just typically full of energy — but his father is not having a good day.

He has had it — untied shoelaces, spilt drinks and then the boy makes a mad dash across a busy road. In a split second he reacts — he smacks the boy, “hard very hard”.

The consequences of this action will resound throughout the book as an observer reports the incident to social services.

Within days the boy’s whole world is turned upside down. The book questions the right we have to judge others and also the sometimes tragic consequences of these snap judgments.

A visit from a child protection officer follows, but thanks to a series­ of tragicomic coincidences it escalates into something far more serious. Through the eyes of the six-year-old, the mess made by the grown-ups seems even more stupid.

He tries to make sense of the chaos with sometimes humorous results.

The author tries to explain the reasoning inside a small boy’s head and one feels the confusion as he tries to justify his father’s actions to make sure everything goes back to normal.

Life as a parent and life as a child is not easy and making decisions is not simple. It is far easier to judge others and to criticise. This book captures the complex relationships between adults and children. But it is not a pleasant read as it does cause some angst and anxiety.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.