A nine-year-old boy in Anhui surnamed Lin was found dead in the bathroom of his home after he reportedly hung himself on January 20, the same day that he and his mom had spoken on the phone and she told him that she wouldn’t make it home for the Spring Festival.
Lin’s family did not sense anything unusual going on with him that day but eventually realized that he’d gone missing. By the time they had found him in the bathroom, however, it was too late.
Lin became a “left-behind child” 20 days after he was born. Two years ago, his parents got divorced and it had noticeably shaken him.
Both of his parents had new families, his father even had a new child. When his father left to work outside their hometown, Lin’s mother took him back to his grandparents’ home to live.
“Mother’s absence was a great blow to him,” Lin’s school headmaster Yang Linqing said. He added that Lin had been looking forward to the Spring Festival for months.
Anhui Normal University professor Sang Qing Song said that left-behind children are affected by the absence of structured, traditional family care and can gradually form feelings of helplessness, loss and abandonment, seriously damaging their mental wellbeing.
By Isabel Quan