A Chinese father punished his son, 11, by purportedly forcing him to play video games for 17 hours without any sleep.
Located in Shenzhen, China, the punishment began after the father — known as Huang — found his son still on his phone in the middle of the night.
“After eating a midnight snack at 1 a.m., I went upstairs and found that [my son] hadn’t slept yet,” Huang explained in the description of his Douyin video.
In the video, Huang shares pictures of his son sitting in a chair consumed by the content on his phone. He eventually makes an agreement to allow the child to play continuously through the night and the next day. Even allowing his son to take a day off from school, Huang warns: “You can play until you can’t play anymore … You can play whatever you want, but you can’t sleep.”
Huang then shares a picture of his son continuing to play at 7:30 in the morning — six hours after his initial discovery. However, by 1 p.m. Huang finds his son fast asleep and wakes him up. “Wake him up,” reads the video’s captions. “Keep playing.”
Huang revealed that his goal was to continue the punishment for 24 hours, stating “let’s wait and see.”
Uploaded on March 8 to Huang’s Douyin account (@Jacky & Daddy), the first clip has garnered 204,000 likes and 14,000 comments as of this writing.
Some Douyin users criticized the father’s harsh methods.
“This won’t work. You have to set a performance appraisal,” one user firmly stated as another critiqued allowing the child to stay home from school. “I will never ask for leave. I will send [him] to school in the morning and pick [the punishment] up in the evening.”
In contrast, other users agreed with the father’s methods and even suggested other methods of punishment.
“Let him play until he is bored one time, and then [make him] work harder to let him play until he vomits,” one user wrote.
“The best way is to [make him play] according to the requirements of professional players, punish him if he doesn’t play well, and play games like a task! [He] will hate games soon,” another user commented.
However, Huang’s punishment for his son was far from over, as he uploaded a second video to Douyin later the same day.
Filming at 6:30 p.m. — 17 hours into the punishment — Huang shows his son hasn’t slept for 34 hours. With the punishment coming to end due to his son’s grandmother’s pleading, Huang shows an apologetic essay written by his son in English, which includes that he “play[ed] until vomit” and promises to limit his screen time.
“I promise must go to bed before 11 o’clock. Promise not to play the phone before going to bed, not to read, and not to play with toys.”
With the second video reaching 42,000 views and 3,680 comments as of this writing, debate surrounding the father’s unusual punishment continued.
“His grandmother is really a stumbling block on the road to success. She should wait for him to beg to go to bed, realize his mistake, admit his mistake and not play with his mobile phone,” a user wrote in support of the father.
“It’s better not to do this. If you don’t sleep for 34 hours, it’s easy to die suddenly,” another user warned.
In his final video, Huang responded to comments and critiques, admitting that his method should not be used lightly. The father also justified his extreme measures with claims that his son is athletic, academically gifted and obedient.