Tiger dad’s tough love: Chinese father takes son, 4, on 540km roller-skating journey to teach him about life

The pair travelled from Henan to Beijing over 14 days

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 April, 2016, 12:49pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 April, 2016, 4:22pm

The road ahead in life is tough, my son.

That’s the message one Chinese father had for his four-year-old when he took the boy on a 14-day roller-skating journey from Henan province all the way to Beijing last month.

The 540km father-and-son tour, however, has sparked controversy on social media, Dahe Daily reported on Thursday.

Some lambasted the man, Zhang Junguang, for putting his child in danger by making him skate on busy highways. Others, though, praised Zhang for teaching the boy to be strong through the tough journey.

Zhang, 39, and his son began their roller-skating tour in the Henan city of Puyang on March 22, riding along the China National Highway 106.

The pair skated about 30km every day and would rest for the night before sunset as the boy was still young, Zhang said.

The father and son travelled more than 540km to reach Beijing on April 4, according to the report.

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“Life has its ups and downs. We felt the same while riding on rough roads with our roller shoes during our tour to Beijing,” Zhang was quoted as saying.

“I hope the tough experience on this tour will leave a deep impression on my son in his childhood.”

The father said the boy sometimes cried when the going got tough, but that he never gave up.

Strong winds and bumpy roads were their biggest challenges, he added.

Zhang, a truck driver in Puyang, said his son learnt to roller skate at the age of two and that the pair had done some physical training before they set off on their journey.

As a reward after the gruelling tour, Zhang brought his son to some Beijing tourist spots, including Tiananmen Square, the Bird’s Nest Stadium and the Great Wall.

The pair returned to their hometown by bus on Tuesday, the paper reported.