Illustrations: Peter C. Espina/GT

Homework – it always has an unpleasant ring about it. A 10-year-old boy was recently left by his father to beg on the Shanghai Railway Station South Square as a punishment for refusing to do his homework, Shanghai-based The Paper reported Tuesday. To motivate children to study, Chinese parents often tell them if they don’t take their studies seriously, they would have to beg to feed themselves. Chengcheng’s father, who was too anxious to teach his son a lesson after receiving repeated complaints from teachers over his snubbing homework, forced him to kneel on the square in cold winter days, to give him the taste of a beggar’s life. Many netizens, however, questioned the act. Such a punishment could make the kid sick and hurt his dignity, they argue. Chinese parents are always too concerned about, and have paid excessive attention to their children’s homework and school grades. They’d better mind their ways first before blaming the kids. Besides, they should ask themselves: Is homework more important than their children’s health and happiness?