A video of a four year old Chinese boy being forced to run nearly naked through the snow has been defended by his father, who says the child agreed to participate.The home video involved the exhibition of a tough Chinese parenting method that became famous after the publication of Any Chua's book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
The father, He Liesheng, said he was trying to train his son to be strong and manly.Manager of a bed linen company in the eastern city of Nanjing, he explained that his son “agreed to go out to run in the snow naked or else it wouldn't have been possible for me to take his clothes off.”
However, he added, “he wasn't very happy when he felt the cold.”In the video, the child runs towards his father wearing only his underwear and shoes, in thick snow, alternately crying and begging his father to hold him. Both father and mother tell him several times to lie down in the snow. Eventually, he complies when his mother pressures him to do it.
The video has been viewed by tens of thousands of people.The boy was born with water on the brain, and doctors initially questioned whether he might have cerebral palsy.
“But now he has no problems,” said assistant Xin Lijuan.It was during a holiday with the family in New York celebrating the Lunar New Year last month that He decided to bring in the Year of the Dragon by filming his son's run in the snow, his assistant said.
“The child agreed and before the run he did half an hour of slow running to warm up,” Xin said. This child has received all sorts of forms of training since he was small. When he was one, started swimming in water that was 21 degrees.”Xin's boss apparently sent the video to “a few friends,” according to a personal assistant but did not post it online himself. It is not clear who did.
The flood of criticism on the Internet has not changed the father's mind about his actions, said his assistant, who told the AFP news agency that the fact his son lived shows he has “tenacious vitality.”