Chinese rock star Zheng Jun received online backlash after revealing he punished his 11-year-old son by making him squat 1,000 times for lying.
The Beijing-based singer opened up about his son’s punishment on Weibo on Sunday. He ordered him to kowtow 1,000 times after catching him lying.
His son, named Jagger, then asked him if he could choose another form of punishment after 200 kowtows.
“I said, ‘I’ll give you a spanking? or [you can] sit cross-legged [on the floor] for an hour in exchange for 500 kowtow? [Jagger] said he would choose to at least sit cross-legged [he] can learn something [from it]’ Jun reportedly wrote.
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After 10 minutes in the uncomfortable yoga position, the boy cried out and promised not to lie again. However, his request to be spared was ignored by the singer as he continued to videotape the punishment.
The post went viral, with viewers accusing Jun of child molestation, prompting the singer to edit his social media post and advise parents not to follow his punishment. He claimed that he and his son have been practicing sitting cross-legged, and that Jagger “can do it for half an hour with no problem.”
“The boy is young. Excessive punishment does not bring positive results,” commented one Weibo user.
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“I hope you understand that in order to teach your child not to lie, you need to be patient and figure out why they lied instead of just resorting to punishment,” wrote another.
After deleting his original post, the singer wrote a new post in which he claimed that the kowtow he commanded his son was a “simple and effective” yoga move similar to a Tibetan Buddhist ritual.
“Sitting cross-legged is a great way to help kids focus,” Jun reportedly wrote. “My son and I kowtow together every morning and often do the cross-legged sitting at night.”
The story goes on
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“I never hit my kid,” he added. “I have never asked my child to make any of my dreams come true. I just hope he grows up to be an honest, kind, strong and brave person.”
“You don’t have to care what the public thinks,” wrote a user who sided with the singer, according to the South China Morning Post. “I have a daughter and I hit her whenever I felt it necessary. Now there is no problem with her. Children do not hold grudges as long as you make your intentions clear to them.”
Zheng Jun is a rock singer-songwriter who won the 2002 MTV International Viewer’s Choice Award for his song “1/3 Dream”. He recorded a Chinese language version of the Coldplay song “Yellow” sung by Katherin Ho and featured on the soundtrack of the 2018 film Crazy Rich Asians. Jun and his son previously gained popularity among fans after appearing on the Chinese variety show Dad Is Back in 2015.
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Featured image by Jun Zheng (left); Goode White (right)