At 14, James (not his real name) once ordered his parents out of the master bedroom so he could sleep in there.
He also physically assaulted his father multiple times. He would also smash objects at home, and these episodes happened so frequently, police officers at the police station near their home have become familiar with the family, said his counsellor.
His father eventually had to take out a personal protection order (PPO) against the boy.
Counsellor Clinton Galistan said: “The parents had become hostage to the situation, and the boy controlled the family.”
Cases where children are abusive towards parents or grandparents, are not as uncommon as some may think.
Earlier this week, The Straits Times reported how in 2016, a 16-year-old student armed himself with a steak knife and stabbed, slashed, punched and kicked his father when he refused to give him $2,000.
Now 19, he pleaded guilty in court on Wednesday to causing grievous hurt to his father.
Another case, a mother of a 14-year-old was so afraid of him she did not dare return home alone. Instead, she would wait for her husband to finish work and go home with her.
Her son had physically attacked her more than once.
The problem of abusive children is not unique to Singapore.
Statistics from the Family Justice Courts showed that of the average 2,841 fresh PPO applications filed between 2014 and 2017, 8 per cent were by parents against children. This is double the 4 per cent filed by children against parents.
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