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Barber Gives "Old Man" Haircuts To Punish Misbehaving Kids

Kids act out; it's just a fact of life. They're a morass of growth spurts and hormones and love and misunderstandings, and sometimes we can't decide whether to hug them or hide from them.

Part of growing up is testing boundaries. Parents can tell a kid what not to do, but for some, they need to experience something (and its consequences) before the lesson sticks.

This can especially become an issue once the child's old enough to realize adults seem to have it pretty good.

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"Seem to" being the important part, because if an eight-year-old had to see what's involved in doing my taxes right now, they'd go right back to playing Fortnite.

Kids see the freedom adulthood can bring, but we often shield them from the suckiest parts of adulting.

So they push at the boundary between kid life and adult life, acting out and ignoring rules while Mom or Dad tries to get them to stop.

For a lot of kids, discipline like losing privileges or extra chores is enough to teach them, but some need a more targeted approach.

Atlanta barbershop A-1 Kutz has a unique last resort for kids who keep trying to "act grown."

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They call it the "Benjamin Button Special" and it's absolutely free for parents who are at their wits' end.

Owner Russell "Rusty Fred" Fredrick first used it on his 12-year-old son.

The cut involves shaving away the hair on top of the head while leaving the sides alone, giving the kid a classic "bald old man" look.

After getting the cut and getting a schoolyard shaming, his son's falling grades "dramatically skyrocketed" according to Frederick.

It wasn't long before another parent came to him for help and it was those pics that went viral.

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Now that is the face of a boy who's begun to regret some choices.

The 10-year-old was brought in by his single mom, who had reached her limit with how he was misbehaving in school.

Some question the choice of public humiliation as a disciplinary tool.

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Frederick says that he see it as 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."

According to him, the effects of the "old man cut" lasted for months with his son.

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While some experts worry about the lasting damage of using shame as a punishment, if it's done rarely and as a last resort, the kids should bounce back fine.

As for the boy in the viral pics, his shaming lasted four days.

He'd even started calling himself "Old Man Jenkins" and his mom thought the lesson had been learned.

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Frederick was happy to shave down the sides to match the fresh stubble on the boy's crown, fixing the cut.

“He understood why it happened and he rolled with it and allowed it to make him stronger," he said. "You gotta reach these kids somehow, and I would gladly do it again."

h/t: The Washington Post