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'Eagle Dad' joins pantheon of tough Chinese parents

  • Staff Reporter
  • 2012-02-08
  • 08:52 (GMT+8)
Little streak brother receives harsh training from his Eagle Dad. (Internet Photo)

Little streak brother receives harsh training from his Eagle Dad. (Internet Photo)

A father from Nanjing commanded his 4-year-old son to jog naked but for his briefs in temperatures of -13 degree Celsius in the early morning of New Year's Eve in New York in a video which has gone viral on the internet in China and has triggered widespread debate.

The Yangtse Evening News in Nanjing reported that the 4-year-old He Yide or Duo Duo, who has also become known as the "little streak brother," is the son of an entrepreneur from the capital city of eastern China's Jiangsu province. He told reporters that he fathered his son when he was already past the age of 40 and the boy was born two months prematurely and experienced multiple complications at birth. He, who was formerly a teacher, decided to develop a rigorous program to help his son grow up healthy and strong.

He said that before him in the pantheon of tough Chinese parents there has been the "Wolf Dad" — Guangdong businessman Xiao Baiyou, who said that beating his children would help them enter top universities — and the "Tiger Mom" — Yale law professor Amy Chua, whose harsh parenting regime was recounted in the memoir Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. He himself intends to be an "Eagle Dad," He said. He said that when young hawks grow mature enough, the mother will throw them off the cliff. As they fall, their innate abilities kick in and they flap their wings and learn to fly — this is an eagle-style education, He said

The video has drawn hundreds of thousands of critical comments from internet users, with many saying that it is too harsh to train a small boy in such a way, and others saying the father should be prepared to strip off and run with him.

He said that when bringing up children, parents can not always use a bear-style education and cuddle their children in the arms. This will suppress their ideals and smother their desires, leading to the total destruction of their character, he said.

Since Duo Duo turned six months old, he has been trained for eight hours every day. He, himself a sports enthusiast, insists in accompanying Duo Duo on his training regimen, which includes 3km runs, rope-swinging and cycling. He is also trained in martial arts, kickboxing and street dancing.

He said that his son is very healthy and well developed for his age and has never needed to return to the hospital.

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