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Father defends girl's stunt with wolves (3)

By Shao Wei  (China Daily)

08:35, April 09, 2012

Wolf totem

Yet, Zhu Yongsheng still insisted that his daughter was in no danger on April 1.

"Some media inaccurately said ... that I cruelly locked my daughter in with fierce animals on a whim," he said. "They were wrong. Zhu Lin has dealt with wolves since she was very young. She is a capable wolf trainer.

"I know a lot of people have criticized me. But I love my daughter very much. I just want to make her strong."

Experts such as Xu Fei, a psychologist at Xinjiang Normal University, and Gao Mingxue, director of the Urumqi Xikang Psychological Counseling Center, both told China Daily that they advise against harsh parenting methods, which have become a hot topic in recent years due to the emergence of "tiger moms" and "wolf dads".

"Parents have a direct influence on a child's development. They should not impose their own interests on their children," Gao said.

Zhu Yongsheng disagreed, however, saying his parenting method is "completely correct". He added that he believes his daughter is far more prepared for the rigors of the world than other children.

"I can sense she is happy rather than under pressure," he said. "We get along well. I rarely force her to study as ordinary parents do.

"Although wolves are fierce animals, they have other characteristics, too. They are loyal and clever. I believe my family can live in harmony with them."

Shen Xiaoxi, a counselor of 11 years in Urumqi, suggested people should be more objective when they look at the father's actions.

"Thanks to his vocation, he (Zhu) is teaching his daughter to be a wolf trainer to demonstrate that fierce animals like wolves can be socialized and tamed," she said. "It's radical to say this father has abused his child."

Mao Weihua contributed to this story.

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