Barber Gives Naughty Kids 'Old Man' Haircuts

Georgia's Russell Fredrick offers free 'Benjamin Button Special' to fed-up parents
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2015 3:50 PM CST

If you're a frustrated parent in Snellville, Ga., who doesn't know how to get your child to behave, there's a barber who thinks he knows how to cut that naughtiness off—by literally cutting your child's hair off. Three days a week, A-1 Kutz owner Russell Fredrick is offering free "Benjamin Button Special" cuts where he shaves a kid's head so the child resembles a senior citizen, according to Fox Carolina. Fredrick, a 34-year-old dad of three, was inspired to offer the disciplinary 'do after he used it on his own 12-year-old son, whose school grades had dropped. After getting the haircut, his son's grades "dramatically skyrocketed," he tells the Washington Post. After advertising the cut on social media last week, he says he heard from lots of interested parents, though only one customer—a single mom looking to get her son to behave in school—has hauled her kid in.

Some experts dismiss Fredrick's methods as public humiliation. One psychotherapist tells the Post that shaming kids simply "distracts" them, while a clinical social worker says this kind of discipline tears down self-esteem and causes resentment. Although Fredrick admits he's heard these allegations of "emotional abuse" about his approach, he tells the Post that, "on average, everyone is applauding the mother that brought the child in—and applauding me as well." He also thinks that domestic-violence stories such as the ones that have recently appeared in the NFL have forced many parents to reassess older discipline techniques and seek out creative new ways to set their kids on the straight and narrow. "You gotta reach these kids somehow," he tells the Post. (Maybe the moms of these little rebels used their cellphones too much while pregnant?)

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