Dad makes 4-year-old run naked in snow

Feb 10, 2012, 11:27 IST | Agencies

The video of the strict father making the boy do push-ups in the cold goes viral and ignites a fresh debate over China's tough parenting style

A Chinese dad on a visit to New York made his 4-year-old son run and do push-ups in the snow to develop a "masculine temperament" -- while the boy was dressed only in gym shoes and a pair of yellow underpants.

Tough love: As the 4-year-old stands shivering, he is seen pleading with
his father in the video saying, 'Please give me a hug!'

The dad, He Liesheng, insisted he was simply trying to get his son to develop a "masculine temperament."

He claims his brand of tough love has helped his son, Ho Yide, overcome developmental difficulties after he was born with water in the brain.

But reaction to He's video, which went viral on the web after the dopey dad shared it with friends, has been harsh in his native China.

And it has ignited a fresh debate over China's tough parenting style, which is described in the controversial Amy Chua book, "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother."

In interviews with media in his hometown of Nanjing, He said he was in New York City for the Chinese New Year, which fell on January 23.

There was two inches of snow on the ground in Central Park that morning and the low temperature was a crisp 34 , according to the National Weather Service.

It is not clear from the video where exactly in the city it was made, but New York licence plates are visible on the cars.

Little Ho is seen whimpering and shivering in the footage and a man's voice can be heard exhorting him to run and exercise.

"He agreed to go out to run in the snow naked or else it wouldn't be possible for me to take his clothes off," said He, who runs a bed linen company. "He wasn't very happy when he felt the cold."

He has been dubbed "Eagle Dad" by his countrymen, because those birds have been known to push their offspring out of the nest to get them to fly.

The dad said he's also taught his son Kung Fu, dancing, cycling and mountain climbing -- and has thrown the boy into freezing water to toughen him up. "I also give him cold ice cream on cold winter days to train his stomach to get used to the cold," he said. "He rarely has a cold or fever."

Reactions to the video
The footage has been viewed by tens of thousands of people on video-sharing websites. These are some of
the reactions posted by readers.

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.

I really don't support this, poor kid. Does the kid's mother let the father do whatever he wants to do?

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