"Tiger Mother" Amy Chua may have been strict with her daughters, pushing academics ahead of sleepovers, but she's practically a kitten compared to "Wolf Dad" Xiao Baiyou, who has written a bestselling book in mainland China originally called Beat Them Into Peking University, reports NPR. Xiao boasts of having more than 1,000 rules for his four children—from how to hold chopsticks to how to sleep and use a quilt. "If you don't follow the rules, then I must beat you," Xiao says. He uses a feather duster, however, not a belt.
"From 3 to 12, kids are mainly animals," he says. "Their humanity and social nature still aren't complete. So you have to use Pavlovian methods to educate them." His usual punishment technique is to hit his kids with the feather duster on the back of the legs or their palms. All the children must watch, and if a younger sibling gets thwacked, then so does the elder, for being a poor role model. Xiao says it's not child abuse, and proudly points out that three of his four children got into Peking University, the Harvard of China. Not surprisingly, his children are less impressed by dad's tough style. "There may be some distance from the best results," says his 22-year-old son. Adds his wife: "Maybe they didn't need to be beaten quite so often."