Spare the rod and spoil the child.
Or it could be this: Spare the rod and one day, you may find yourself cleaning your grown child's feet in the rain and getting scolded for it.
A video which went viral in China recently shows precisely that scenario along a Shanghai street.
In the short clip taken by a bystander, a young 'fashionable' woman in her 20s stands with an umbrella in the rain, while an older lady presumed to be her mother squats by her side.
The older woman is seen using a piece of tissue to clean her daughter's bare foot that's resting on her shoe.
Passersby stare at the pair but the young woman remains unperturbed. Later, she even shouts at her mother for not doing a good job.
"Are you crazy, you hurt me with your fingernails," she allegedly screams in the Shanghainese dialect.
The older lady gives a retort before tossing the piece of tissue by the roadside. The pair then calmly continue on their way.
Netizens had a field day after the video was posted on Weibo last week.
Said one: "The child is a victim too, and her mother is to blame."
"The mother just throws the tissue on the road. It's no wonder her child is like that," another opines.
"Another example of a 'giant infant'", wrote one commenter.
The term 'giant infant' was made popular by Chinese psychiatrist and author Wu Zhijong, who wrote the best-selling book 'A Country of Giant Infants' in 2016.
His analysis is that many young Chinese born in the '80s and '90s during China's one-child policy are afflicted with "giant infant" syndrome, where grown-up "little emperors" are waited on hand and foot by their over-indulgent families.
According to Wu, this family-centred culture results in psychological and social problems like narcissism, 'princess syndrome', and even littering. The book has since been banned by Chinese authorities.
However, there are those online who said it's only natural for the mother to help her daughter, as the young woman is wearing a short skirt and would risk exposing herself if she were to bend down. Some others also wondered if the older woman could be the maid and not the mother.
Said one Weibo user who defended the pair: "If my mother sees that my shoelaces have come undone, she'll immediately bend down to tie it for me; similarly when we get home I'll help her take off her shoes. It's easy to throw around the term 'giant infants', rather than to see the love behind the actions."