Move over Tiger Mother – here comes the Wolf Father. Just when we thought it was safe to forget parenting fanatics a Chinese man has emerged, quite possibly from a cave, to challenge my idol Amy Chua.
If a friend of mine is correct in calling parenting a competitive sport, in this case it seems points are being awarded in the disciplines of Spirit Crushing, Creativity Blasting and of course Obedience and Appearance(s).
Wolf Father has seen Tiger Mother and raised her – boasting of not two but four children who solely due to his uncompromising style are on their way to, err, getting educated and getting jobs, unlike everybody else.
But where Xiao Baiyou differs from Madam Chua and her wacky so-called “Chinese values” is this: good old fashioned parenting. And by that I mean good old fashioned violence. Damn good thrashings, floggings, beltings, whuppings and flayings. He says it’s not just a part of parenting – it’s one of the best bits.
Yes he’s selling a book. He’s also setting up a school for children in need of a flogging. So there’s some marketing involved. But … it still is what it is.
Xiao thinks Chua is a bit soft. All those years of no playdates, no friends, no TV, hour upon hour of music lessons, calling the kids garbage … spoiled rotten!
He says three of his four kids made it into Beijing University because he whupped their arse until they were enrolled, just as his mother flogged him all the way into Jinan University. And her father’s father.
|Wolf Father on a TV chat show: "You want some of this?!"|
But this feather-duster wielder doesn’t want to overdo it. Website China Hush reports his motto is merely: “Beating every 3 days gets your children into BJU”.
“To Xiao Baiyou, beating kids is more than a necessary part of home education, but also one of the best parts. He said every time his children misbehave or fail to meet his expectation in school, he would give them the feather duster punishment.”
Still, Xiao denied he was some sort of meat-headed barbarian.
No he really did. Just as positive parenting takes some thought, so negative parenting requires brainwork.
“Beating children is not that simple. My experience tells me it is not easy to do it scientifically and artistically,” he said.
IT’S NOT A COMPETITION YOU MORON! Are there judges awarding points for artistic interpretation when flailing the cane round your house? Do you put on a costume to do it? We can imagine his kids in the future: “Say what you like about our dad, he could really wield a feather duster. Pretty to watch.”
But we’ll let the man with the whacky values carry on with his own petard.
“How to do it scientifically?” he babbled. “The kids have to know what is right, what is wrong, or whether they are repeating the same mistakes, where is the wrong part, how many whips to it, and no resistance when receiving the punishment. And when the punishment’s over, they have to express their resolution to be good next time.”
If he’s belting them every three days … is this stuff really working? Or have these kids got goldfish memories? Or is it just post-traumatic stress disorder?
In his chat show appearance last week, Xiao made this exclusive revelation: people who didn’t benefit from upbringings such as he meted out had committed crimes. Fact.
"Li Shuangjing's beloved son assaults people, Yao Jiaxin murders," he said.
I can hear you thinking: If only that pair had been beaten as children, they probably wouldn't have turned out violent, right?
"Many other (young people) never know the decency of giving seats on the bus. Compared to that, my beating the children is nothing,” gibbered Xiao, who, it will surprise noone to learn, is not a fan of rewarding his children.
“Encouragement is more important than reward. Every kid remembers their parents saying ‘If you get 100 points in the exam, mummy will reward you with a gift’; These kind of words will never come out from me and my wife, nor will our four kids ever hear about it.”
OK, let’s take a scientific approach here son:
Experiment: Encouraging you to do what I say.
Aim: Me not hitting your arse.
Conclusion: You still get hit every three days.
This reminds me of Lang Lang. From the age of two his impoverished father would make him practice piano for two or three hours per night. His form of encouragement? If his boy made a mistake he would throw a shoe at his head. Lang Lang grew up to be a famous, accomplished concert pianist. Desperately unhappy in his once chance at life, and with a terrible relationship with the man who half-created him, but good at the piano.
|No dramas here, right? All looks like happy|
days to me. Yeah right. The Tiger Father would
like it known that Wolf Father is now officially
my arch enemy, and I will not rest until I have
destroyed his wicked empire of tyranny.
Xiao feels his methods are considered. To be fair he says he mostly only beat his one boy and three girls when they were under 12 – so when they were really little.
“When the kids are young, they don’t need independent thinking. They can grow as long as they learn to listen to their parents,” he really said.
“Between 12 and 18, the humanity in kids gradually takes over, they learn to tell the right from the wrong. After 18, their sociality steps in then they have the need to socialize. Thus the kids are forbidden from friending before college, there should only be ‘family’ and ‘schoolmate’ - these two concepts in their life.”
So his kids aren’t to dabble in such distractions as friendship before 18. Then when they’re 18 they can go out into world and start making loads of friends - attractive, well-formed socially-skilled little things they must be.
“Three of my children made it to BJU which proves that my parenting methods didn’t produce kids without independent thinking,” he said of that crucible of free and independent thinking, Beijing University.
But of course the proof should come from the children.
"His son Xiao Rao recalls that he only had one time of worry-free playing throughout his childhood," China Hush reported. "Xiao Rao admits wolf dad's success but he regrets all the happiness absent in their childhood."
How's that for a ringing endorsement?
Xiao said children based their recognition of happiness and pain on comparisons with other kids, therefore they couldn't really understand what happiness was.
"Now that they make it to BJU ... when they reflect on their childhood, they must think they are happy."
|"This is going to hurt you more than it|
hurts me. A lot more. In fact, it won't
hurt me at all. I'm not the one getting
hurt here. That's not how this works."
Xiao said he “beats his kids out of love for them”, thus invoking the old chestnut: I love you so much, I’m going to use my greater size to inflict physical pain on you.
He added that he was so great he almost gave up his job for his kids, and that they had cost him promotion.
“I can say that I am the best and the most responsible father in the world,” said Xiao, proving he can say that. He added that he had already ‘looked after’ more than 30 children delivered unto him during school holidays.
“I beat them no matter they are boys of girls. And they won’t resist,” he chirped.
China, where parents rely on successful children in place of a mature pension system, remains fairly traditional. One survey showed 60 per cent of students would be willing to be taught under the Wolf Father’s methods if it meant getting into BJU. More hearteningly, only 25 per cent of respondents to another survey felt it was acceptable to beat children if it meant they would succeed.
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