After a boy was caught playing with his smartphone in class at school, his father took up an unorthodox method of punishment. The man repeatedly flogged himself with a wooden stick, taking his son’s misbehavior as his own lack of educating the child in proper conduct.
The incident, which took place in China, was caught on video and uploaded to Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, by user “Love Cool” on May 24. It appears that the video was recorded by the man’s wife, who only asked him once to stop hitting himself during the three-minute recording.
The man interpreted a quote by Confucius to justify the self-inflicted punishment for his son’s poor behavior. The quote says that if a child misbehaves or is uneducated, it is the fault of the father.
No information is given about the exact location of the incident. The family members were unidentified.
A Father’s Education
The video, likely recorded by the mother who is sitting on the couch, shows the father and son facing off in the family room.
“Did your father teach you or not?” the dad asks, pointing his finger at his son. “You taught me,” the boy quietly responds.
The boy fidgets, holding the stick in front of himself, as his father speaks loudly to him.
“Your father made a mistake,” the man says, again pointing at his son. “Your father hasn’t taught you well.”
“Strike!” the father yells, as he kneels down against the couch off camera. “I tell you to hit me, so hit me, this is my fault, I didn’t teach you well. Hurry up!”
The boy’s face twists into a pained expression as he begins crying. The boy whimpers and hunches over slightly, unable to hold back his tears. However, the father does not stop.
“Hurry up! Hit me!” the father yells.
The boy stays still, and continues crying with his head hung low.
“Since your father is wrong, he should be punished!” the man yells at his son. “Hit me!”
The boy mumbles, “I won’t hit you.”
After the son does not move or respond, the father reaches out his hand. “Give me the stick!” and the boy quickly complies.
The boy looks on with his hands behind his back and says with a sob, “Don’t.” The father grabs the stick in his right hand, and starts rapidly flogging himself on the back.
“I haven’t taught my son well!” he yells angrily, as he strikes his own back with the stick.
As he continues to whip himself in front of his wife and son, he begins shouting “My fault!” with each strike. Fragments of the stick can be seen flying off as he raises it from his back. He finally finishes, and asks his son, “Are you satisfied?!”
The man tosses the stick to his side, then quotes Confucius to the boy. “The son’s lack of education is the father’s fault.”
“Your father has tried so hard to teach you, you’ve completely disappointed me,” the man says. He then reveals why the punishment took place. “You still dare to say that it was your teacher who let you play your phone in class.”
“No, I heard wrong at that time,” the son pleads.
“It was your teacher who allowed you to?!” the father asks. “You dare to take your phone to class!”
The man explains that he is taking his son’s place in his punishment, reminding the boy that he deserves it. “You must remember that next time, all of this will be on you!” the father says, still on his knees, pointing at the boy.
“You better remember this,” the father tells his son.