Punishing children isn’t easy, especially due to the many laws meant to protect them. Several people are coming up with different humane ways of disciplining misbehaving kids without landing on the wrong side of the law or causing them harm. Russel Fredrick, a Snellville, Georgia-based barber, believes that giving a misbehaving kid an old man’s haircut is the perfect form of punishment. Three days a week, he offers free old man haircuts to disobedient children.
If you are a parent and your child is giving you a hard time, just visit Fredrick’s A-1 Kutz, and he’ll deliver the service for free.
According to him, if kids want to act old, let them look like senior citizens.
Fredrick posted a picture of one of the kids on Instagram to show what the end result of his “Benjamin Button Special” cut looks like. He also wrote a message beside the image: “So you wana act grown…well now you can look grown too. The grown-up kids special by: @rusty_fred GOT TO REACH EM SOMEHOW….”
The 34-year-old father of three said he was motivated to promote the cut after he realized that his 12-year-old son’s grades improved after he gave him the George Jefferson-esque hairstyle.
“There are a few people that are saying it’s emotional abuse; but on average, everyone is applauding the mother that brought the child in — and applauding me as well,” Fredrick told The Washington Post.
So far, the haircut has attracted three parents who took their kids to have the “senior citizen look.” There are also several other parents who have shown interest in the haircut.
Fredrick was surprised by the attention the image he shared received. However, he believes that it should be the last resort. He’s hoping that parents won’t be invoking the disciplinary measure unless it is a serious case and other options have failed.
Fredrick says that situations such as NFL player Adrian Peterson’s, who was charged with child abuse after beating his 4-year-old son with a tree branch, have made parents rethink the way they punish their own children. He thinks his method will help parents who want to get through to their children without inflicting too much pain or getting into trouble with the law.
Of course, the approach has had some opposition. Some believe it is unnecessarily humiliating children and could potentially scar them long after their hair grows back.
“Humiliating people, of any age, is a nasty and disrespectful way of treating them,” said Alfie Kohn, author of Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishments to Love and Reason.
“It may have a temporary effect that results in changes in behavior, but there could also be a deeper or more lasting effect on the child’s self image,” said Wanda Wheeler, a clinical social worker.