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The Old Man Haircut: New Form of Discipline or Another Child Shaming Act?

The Short of It

A barbershop in Snellville, Ga., is offering up what some parents see as a perfect solution to young boys misbehaving: an old man haircut that will teach them a lesson! But is this so-called "Benjamin Button Special" creative discipline or child shaming gone wild?

The Lowdown

Russell Frederick owns the A-1 Kutz barbershop near Atlanta, and he posted this message on his Facebook page: "So you wana act grown...well now you can look grown too."

The post features photos of the son of one mom who decided to take Frederick up on his offer. Her son's new receding hairline and bald spot have gone viral.

Now many parents are debating whether the old man haircut is an effective form of discipline or if it's simply the latest trend in publicly shaming naughty kids.

For his part, the barber defended his handiwork to CNN, saying, "Because a lot of people are at a loss of how to discipline kids, you can't whup 'em anymore, like we used to, as children. It works."

Frederick should know. He gave his own 12-year-old son the "Benjamin Button Special" when he was having trouble in school. According to the father, the less than flattering look straightened his son out.

The Upshot

Critics of shaming say discipline should be private, not public. I tend to agree with them. But I have three girls, so maybe I don't get it. I'm not sure what the female equivalent of the "old man cut" is. Maybe a puffy, violet-hued coif? Unfortunately, I think my daughters would love that!

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