Barber Cuts Kids' Hair Like Old Men To Stop Them From Misbehaving
An Atlanta-area barbershop is offering a controversial haircut free as a means of punishment for misbehaving children.
Russell Frederick of says the "Benjamin Button Special" is meant to be a creative, last-ditch effort at discipline.
Not everyone has been receptive to a new 'do intended to embarrass a child into acting properly. As is implied by the "Benjamin Button" monicker, the cut trims a child's hair to perfectly resemble an aging (read: balding) adult.
"So u wana act grown...well now u look grown too," reads the caption on an Instagram photo posted to Frederick's account.
Frederick, a 34-year-old father of three, told Atlanta's WSB-TV that his 12-year-old son was the first Benjamin Button recipient. The boy's grades, which were in need of improvement, "skyrocketed and he got back on track" following the haircut, he said.
Some experts have cautioned that shame-based punishments may cause long-term harm or lead to a cycle of bad behavior.
"It's not just that humiliating people, of any age, is a nasty and disrespectful way of treating them," Alfie Kohn, author of "Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason," told HuffPost's Lisa Belkin in a report on such punishments. "It's that humiliation, like other forms of punishment, is counterproductive. 'Doing to' strategies -- as opposed to those that might be described as 'working with' -- can never achieve any result beyond temporary compliance, and it does so at a disturbing cost."
Frederick told the Washington Post the cut should only be used as a last resort.
"I hope that most people won’t have to do this unless it’s an extreme circumstances and nothing else is working,” Frederick told the Washington Post. “First, you talk or implement your restrictions. But when the conventional ways don’t work these days, you have to get creative."