A Benjamin Button haircut may seems like cruel and unusual punishment for a misbehaving child, but to a barber in Atlanta, it’s the best form of punishment. What this hairstyle does is make your naughty child look like an “old man” by shaving the hair off the crown, leaving the child open to humiliation among his peers.
The haircut originally received inspiration from Brad Pitt‘s character in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a film about a man who ages in reverse.
According to Syracuse News, Russel Fredrick gave his reasons for the controversial form of punishment.
“Parents are at a loss. 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. If you don’t, and your kid ends up doing something crazy, everyone is going to say the problems started at home.”
The Benjamin Button haircut has also been tagged as emotional abuse, but Russel Fredrick believes it’s preferable to letting the child get his own way. He and his team at A-1 Kutz in Atlanta, Georgia, are running a deal three days a week for parents with problem children to order the “Benjamin Button Special,” free of charge.
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) February 4, 2015
Fredrick told the Washington Post that he started the Benjamin Button hairstyle with his own 12-year-old son, and the boy’s failing grades suddenly improved as his peers began humiliating him. It proved effective, and he wants to spread the favor to more parents of problem children.
Washington-based psychotherapist Xanthia Bianca Johnson says it only makes the problem worse.
“There’s lots of research that supports the fact that when a child is blamed or shamed it triggers their nervous system, and when the nervous system is shut down, it is directly connected to the brain. The part of the brain that processes logic gets shut off and it can actually stunt physical and emotional growth.”
Fredrick countered the critics by saying the Benjamin Button haircut should only be 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. First, you talk or implement your restrictions. But when the conventional ways don’t work these days, you have to get creative.”
Some may see this form of punishment as just another form of shaming, but if you’re willing to give it a try, Russel Fredrick’s idea may just turn your child around.
What do you think of the Benjamin Button haircut? Will it make the problem worse, or is it a practical alternative?
[Image via Fanpop / LiveJournal]