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Stop 'Eagle Dad' before it's too late

China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-06 09:36

Legal authorities should stop He Liesheng, or "Eagle Dad", from forcing his son into more adventures before one of them turns deadly, says an article in the online edition of Guangming. Excerpts:

The pushy father wanted to make his 5-year-old son the youngest person to fly a plane unassisted on Aug 31. He Yide, nicknamed Duoduo, will fly a plane over Beijing Wildlife Park on Sunday, He Liesheng had declared.

He Liesheng gained fame - and, at the same time, drew public flak - by forcing his son to stand in just his underpants and sneakers in New York City in sub-zero temperature last year. The video clip of the incident shows the "Eagle Dad" telling his son to do pushups when he couldn't bear the cold and started crying. He Liesheng reportedly even forced his son to learn sailing last year to become the youngest person to sail solo in a sea.

Flying a plane is not only impossible but also dangerous for a 5-year-old, not least because his father has trained him for just half a month. The authorities will certainly not allow a pushy father to jeopardize his son's life. Besides, a person needs a license to fly a plane, and a flying license is issued only to people above 17 years.

The boy is too young to fly a plane, and it's obvious that the father's intention is only to draw media attention. He capitalized on the public reaction to his New York video last year to release his book on parenting. Perhaps he has a similar plan up his sleeve this time. No responsible father would deprive his children of the joys of childhood and endanger their life to make money.

In 2009, when a 13-year-old girl in the Netherlands decided to sail alone across the world, a court ruled that being a minor she could not do so. The court even deprived her parents of her guardianship for two months as penalty for not taking proper care of their daughter. Similarly, legal authorities in China should intervene and stop the "Eagle Dad" from playing with the life of his son.

(China Daily 09/06/2013 page9)

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