He calls it the “Benjamin Button Special.”
1. If your kid’s acting out, barber Russell Fredrick and his team at A-1 Kutz, a barbershop in suburban Atlanta, are happy to help with a creative kind of discipline.
3. Parents can bring in their bad kids three days a week and ask for the “Benjamin Button Special,” where the bad kid in question will be styled like an old man.
The Washington Post reported on the shop’s unusual offering:
The cut involves shaving hair off the child’s crown until he begins to resemble a balding senior citizen, inviting that unique brand of adolescent humiliation that can only come from teasing classmates and unwanted attention.
“So u wana act grown…well now u look grown too,” the barber wrote on Instagram. “The grown-up kids special. Bring more bad kids to @a1__kutz for this kut.”
5. Fredrick, who co-owns the shop and has three kids, said he was inspired to offer the special after he saw immediate results when he tried it out on his 12-year-old son, Rushawn, for getting bad grades.
But those grades “dramatically skyrocketed” after the haircut, Fredrick told the Post.
“Parents are at a loss,” the 34-year-old dad said. “When you go to discipline kids these days, they can’t necessarily use physical punishment they way parents did in the past, but they have to do something.”
Some experts believe that shaming as a form of discipline can be “ineffective and even destructive,” research psychologist Peggy Drexler reported in Psychology Today.
“Many kids will act out as a cry for attention or for firmer limits,” she wrote. “Most kids — especially boys — have an impulse to push boundaries while also needing to know that they’ll be reigned in.”
7. And though Fredrick said the reaction has been mostly positive, the shop posted an update on Facebook that they fixed the boy’s hair after the picture went so viral.
The 10-year-old who got the treatment apparently “learned his lesson” and even started calling himself “old man Jenkins,” his mother said.
“I hope that most people won’t have to do this unless it’s an extreme circumstances and nothing else is working,” Fredrick told the Post. “First, you talk or implement your restrictions. But when the conventional ways don’t work these days, you have to get creative.”