Being a parent can be tough sometimes. We all have our own methods of parenting, right? One father has taken the “tough love” approach too far. He Liesheng and his wife, natives of China, who were visiting New York with their family, to celebrate the Lunar new year, forced his four year-old son to run nearly naked in the freezing cold with snow on the ground. The child, nicknamed Duoduo, was only wearing underwear and his shoes. Liesheng taped the whole ordeal, and many times his son cried and begged to be picked up, saying “Daddy, daddy, please hold me.” Several times in the video both parents told the child to lie down in the snow.
Liesheng says that the exercise was meant to strengthen his son, saying “I believe in no pain, no gain.” He also said that “It’s tough for me too, when he cried out for my comfort.” He calls himself “Eagle Dad”, because of his tough parenting skills. In an interview with CNN, Liesheng said that the run in the snow was part of an intense training regimen, meant to strengthen his son. He also said that he consulted with a doctor to make sure “everything was scientific, and that it won’t harm my son’s body.” Liesheng has also claimed that he and his wife always respect their son’s will, and that Duoduo’s health has improved as a result of the “tough parenting” they dole out for him.
Liesheng never meant for the video to be posted online, but since it has been there has been a rousing uproar from the public after being viewed tens of thousands of times. On Weibo, China’s equivalent to Twitter, the video has sparked a lot of anger, one user called “Xinhongbaobei” saying “Why don’t we have a law against this abnormal behavior? Before long, there will be all sorts of lion dad’s and snake mom’s who feel justified abusing their children.”, while another user said “I don‘t agree with this…we should give children a happy childhood, those terrible parents say they do this for their child’s own good, but I think their purpose is just to be able to brag in the future.” Many other users also suggested that the government get involved as well.
Liesheng says that the criticism does not bother him, telling CNN that “I’ve always felt Chinese parents spoil their only child too much. We don’t expose them to nature enough and they get weaker and less competitive compared to foreign children.” Liesheng plans to write a book about his “Eagle dad” parenting skills.