If you haven't seen this video of an adorable 4-year-old boy from China being forced by his father to exercise in the snow wearing nothing but shoes and bright yellow underpants, let me warn you: Viewing has been known to cause homicidal thoughts. Parents are particularly at risk.
That was my first reaction when I saw this poor little thing sobbing hysterically from cold and fear while running and doing push-ups in the snow-covered street:
I want to find this boy's dad and I want to barricade him in a meat freezer until he turns into a solid block of ice.
How could anybody treat their own child -- any child -- this way?
Oh, but father He Liesheng insists he was doing his son a favor.
Yes, it's all part of an "intensive training regimen" the dad says he designed to "toughen up" the boy, who was born prematurely. It's not child abuse, he maintains:
"It's tough for me, too, when he cried out for my comfort. But I believe in 'no pain, no gain.' Like an eagle, I push my child to the limit so he can learn how to fly."
He even calls himself the "Eagle Dad."
And if that sounds suspiciously reminiscent of the "Tiger Mother," Liesheng is quick to point out their differences. According to Liesheng, he always respects his son's will -- unlike the Tiger Mother.
But I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around this one. How does forcing a child to do push-ups in the snow when he's crying and begging you to pick him up and visibly trembling with cold have anything to do with respecting his will?
I'll buy that Liesheng doesn't believe he's doing his child any harm. He's obviously got some serious issues himself. But that doesn't mean what he's doing isn't child abuse.
Watch this clip and tell me ...
Do you think the dad who forced his child to suffer this way is guilty of child abuse?
Image via cosmin2310/Flickr