A 2-year-old was killed by her own family members this weekend -- reportedly from an exorcism ritual gone horribly wrong. The family was supposedly heavily involved in the occult and had been convinced that the toddler girl was possessed. The parents, six other family members, and a maid subjected the girl to an exorcism ritual that lasted some 20 hours.
An uncle of the girl had noticed the household disappear into a room at 2:00 a.m. Neighbors noticed family members praying and burning red packets in front of the house earlier. But by the time someone finally called the police and help arrived, it was too late. Some of the family members were found restraining the child with their entire bodies and the girl had suffocated.
This tragedy took place in Malaysia, but the parents were middle-class educated people. The father of the toddler is an engineer for a multinational company and the mother is an alternative medicine practitioner. How did they get in so deep with a spiritual practice that would lead them to kill their own child? Or that a child could be possessed in the first place? It's so odd that eight family members and their maid were involved in this.
Those of us who have lived with a 2-year-old know they can be exasperating and willful. They're irrational and they throw tantrums -- and sometimes we're not even sure what they're so upset about. But of all the horrific cases of abuse, this has to be the weirdest lens I've seen anyone use to interpret a toddler's bratty behavior. Possessed? You've got to be kidding me.
You don't need an exorcism to manage your 2-year-old. You don't need to burn candles and you don't need a special ritual. You just need patience, empathy, and love. I'm so sorry these parents couldn't see their daughter for who she was, just a typical toddler.
What's the most frustrated you've ever been with a toddler?
Image via Euromagic/Flickr