Growing up, every child will make some mistakes. When those mistakes happen, how should parents educate their kids so that they do not happen again?
In a video that first went viral last month but has popped up again recently, one Chinese father demonstrates his own unusual parenting methodology. In the video, which is filmed in the family’s living room by the man’s daughter, the dad is seen scolding his son for taking his mobile phone to school to play games. The son apparently tries to claim that a teacher had told him to bring in the phone.
“Did Dad not teach you?” the father asks. When the son answers that he had been taught, the father asks again, “You were taught, but you did not learn?” To which the son replies with a Chinese idiom from the “Three Character Classic”: “To teach without severity, is the teacher’s laziness.”
With that, the father moves on to a different tactic, handing his son a thin stick before kneeling down on the floor. “This time, your wrong is Dad’s fault. Dad did not teach you well. Dad will take the blame,” he says, commanding his son to punish him by lashing his back with the stick. The frightened kid refuses.
“If I tell you to hit, then hit. This is my fault! You hear what I’m saying. Quick, hit me!” the father shouts back, causing his son to start crying.
After more shouts, the father grabs the stick from his son and begins to thrash himself in the back while shouting: “My fault. I did not teach my son. My fault, my fault, my fault…”
As the man flogs himself, his son continues to sob while his daughter pleads with him to stop.
“Dad did not teach you well. You took your phone to school to play games. Do you still dare to say that your teacher told you to bring it?” the father asks following the self-flagellation.
“No, I heard it wrong,” his son whimpers in reply.
“This time, Dad will take your punishment. Next time, you will take it, the stick will fall on your back. However many sticks are broken on Dad’s back, will also be broken on yours,” the father warns.
While the man’s questionable parenting methods were not generally well-received online, some had to admit that the kid certainly wasn’t likely to dare to take his phone to school again.
Meanwhile, compared with the way that some other parents discipline their children, this dad was practically lenient. This year, we’ve seen kids dangled above rivers, dunked in ponds, and even crucified for not doing their homework.