A Chinese couple recently sparked controversy online after punishing their child for watching too much television by making him stay up all night watching TV.
It’s a problem most modern parents – myself included – deal with at some point. Kids today love looking at screens, be they big or small, and unless you do something about it, they become little addicts. And it’s up to parents to either prevent that from happening or manage screen time to ensure they actually do something else. Anyway, this story is about a couple of parents who decided that more TV was actually the way to wean their son off watching TV. So they made him stay up all night watching whatever he wanted.
Before going out, the couple, who hail from China’s Hunan province, reportedly asked their 8-year-old son to finish his homework and be in bed at 8:30. But when they returned later that night they found him on the sofa watching TV even though it was passed his bedtime. They also learned that he had not done his homework, so they decided to teach him a lesson.
According to the home CCTV footage that recently went viral on Chinese social media, the events unfolded on the night of November 11. When the parents came home, the boy can be seen going into the bedroom, but upon checking the TV and his notebooks, the couple quickly realize what’s going on and drag him back into the living room.
The boy actually gets more than the verbal scolding he was probably expecting. Instead of sending him back to his room and saving his punishment for the following days, his parents actually turn on the TV and tell him to keep watching his favorite programs. He actually looks relaxed at first, but as the hours go by, you can see him struggle to stay awake.
This form of punishment has attracted the parents a fair bit of criticism online, with some calling it a form of abuse. The video shows the boy repeatedly trying to go to his room to sleep, only to be turned back by his mother and made to watch more TV. At around 2 a.m., he can be seen crying and pleading with his mother to be allowed to sleep, but to no avail.
More than once, the boy can be seen falling asleep on the couch, only to be nudged awake by his mother or father and forced to watch more television. According to the CCTV timestamp, the boy was only allowed to finally go to sleep at around 5 in the morning.
Although the boy may have been taught a lesson and will probably avoid the TV for a while, many on social media wondered if it was worth it. Then again, tough parenting, known as ‘tiger parenting‘ in China, has been in the news a few times over the years, and many parents swear by it.