In 2011, we had the Tiger Mother, who bullied her daughters into academic and musical achievement, revealing all in a best selling book which read like a catalogue of child abuse.
This year, we have the Chinese father who forces his four year old son to run around and lie down in the snow in his underpants, despite the boy’s pleas.
The video was shared by the boy’s father with a few friends, but ultimately appeared online, where it has been viewed by hundreds of thousands and has attracted forceful comments.
“Oh my god. That’s child abuse. Poor kid,” wrote a viewer.
One commenter took a darkly humorous view: “Next Trick? Deflecting bullets!”
Another made a point about cultural differences: “Western society may see this as child abuse, but cultural difference is the factor. In western society, life is easy going and laid back whereas in eastern places like china life is more strict and disciplined…”
One comment noted that “…if you want to challenge your kid or build his character you could at least teach him something that isn’t dangerous to his health and that he could actually use in his future.”
The father, He Liesheng, told news agency AFP he was trying to train his son to be strong and manly, and claimed: “I also give him cold ice cream on cold winter days to train his stomach to get used to the cold.”
“He rarely has a cold or fever,” He said.
His personal assistant, Xin Lijuan, said the family was on holiday in New York during the Lunar New Year, and he decided to see in the Year of the Dragon by making his son run around in the snow.
“The child agreed and before the run, he did half an hour of slow running to warm up,” Xin told AFP.
The boy was born prematurely with many health problems, Xin said, but because of the intense training he has received since he was one year old – including swimming in 21 C water – “he now has no problems.”
“He says he doesn’t care what others say… that the fact that the child lived showed that he has tenacious vitality,” Xin told AFP.
Last year, a book called ‘Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother’ by Chinese-American Yale University law professor Amy Chua revealed her educational methods, which banned all activities familiar to a Western child, and focused on schoolwork and music practice exclusively.
She broke her rebellious daughter’s spirit by, among other things, making them stand outside in the cold for failing to practice piano.
Source: Yahoo Lifestyle