According to various news sources, a barber found out his son has been acting up in school lately, so he punishes him by giving the kid a "Benjamin Button" style haircut aka an old man hair cut. Here's a link to a youtube video that goes into it with a bit more detail:
Assuming you saw the video, what are your thoughts on this? Do you think this approach is a good way to discipline your kids if they act up? Or do you still see it as another form of child abuse? Please discuss.
I see it as cruel, and a form of abuse.
Children worry about their looks, and fitting in anyway
Why make it worse?
I wonder what form of punishment is given to his parents when they do things wrong
Probably none. People expect more from their children then they do from themselves
That Dad better sleep with one eye open from now on, cuz that kid is gonna shoot him someday.
Publicly humiliating children is a horrible form of discipline. This memory will haunt that child the rest of his life.
At the age of 13 I was a long hair hippy and my Dad would punish me a few times with a brushcut. When it grew back, it grew straight up like punk hairstyle. That bothered him more, so he allowed me grow back to hippystyle.
A short haircut is no big
deal, now a phyical beating hurts like hell.
If enough boys get the 'old man' punishment haircut it will just become a minor fad and a status marker, thus making it ineffective as a punishment. Like, I'm so badass that my parents had to give me this haircut, don't mess with me. And all the boys will want to get it.
Mild public humiliation among peers can be humbling and effective, but it all depends on how much/little love and respect kids have for their parents. I think a better solution would have been to give the boy a choice between the haircut or a weekend of being grounded. The kid would have had to live w/ his choice rather than putting all the anger toward the parent. Another choice might have been to make the kid do some kind of community service which would point out a less fortunate side of life. Not caring enough to address behavior problems is a lot worse than the embarrassment of a temporary haircut!
. . . or cause the child to develop social anxiety issues later in life which will have more of an impact on the young person's life than bad grades.
Minor public embarrassment as a punishment is old as sin, and the bad haircut punishment is not new either. A long time ago when girls were expected to have long hair, a punishment would be to chop it short like a boy. It's not even very effective as a method of discipline because kids' hair grows back so fast! If you have children, you'll know what I mean. The outrage over this is a little ridiculous. That boy's hair will grow in before his dad knows it and he'll be up to his old tricks at school again.
The most effective punishments are done in private, where something meaningful is withheld until certain conditions are met.
"I'm not allowed to smack my kid anymore so I have to find another way to punish them without actually putting in the effort to understand and/or fix the problem"...is what all of that says to me.
Public humiliation is the new thing for parents who are too lazy to find appropriate ways to discipline their kids. I can't for the life of me understand why embarrassing your kid seems like a good idea to some people.
This is an interesting debate. I'd have to say that I think it was wrong. From the video, it sounds like the kid was falling behind when it came to his grades (it doesn't seem like he was bullying kids or anything like that). I feel like it would be way better to kindly talk to the kid about how he should behave. If the father already did that and his son was still acting poorly, I think he could have punished him in other ways (taken away his phone, etc.). I don't think publically humiliating his son is going to help at all. It surprises me how so many people feel this is okay especially since if a child did this to another child it would be considered "bullying". Why is it that if a parent humiliates his kid on purpose it's okay?
Hmm, a haircut, which will grow out in a few weeks, or the alternative: violence, else Ritalin and years of useless psychotherapy. Poor thing was publicly embarrassed by a haircut yet not publically embarrassed by his actions in public that caused the effect/punishment?
PS, yes, if enough young men are punished this way, we can expect a fashion trend shortly. Hipsters with buzz cuts. Ha!
The consensus here says that this was an abusive and psychologically harmful form of punishment. I am from an older generation whose parents spanked us, washed our mouths out w/ soap, and sent us to bed w/o dinner. School discipline wasn't much better and often involved being embarrassed in front of classmates. I am curious to hear what would be considered a good approach in this case.
Agreed, cat on a soapbox; I'm from that same generation--the parents who did not confuse the difference between a spanking and a beating/abuse, as today's parents seem to do.
Yes, I got bent over parental laps and spanked a few times, as well as learned the taste of soap. I came out fine, as did most of this 'baby-boomer' generation.
How about something that's actually relevant to the problem?
If he's getting bad grades then try to figure out why. If he's spending too much time with friends, then limit his time spent with them until his grades pick up. If he's spending too much time playing video games then take them away until his grades pick up. If he's not interested in school then look for a way to make it more interesting. Don't embarrass them when they're struggling.
I agree with you that punishment should fit the crime, and a child should clearly understand the reasons behind the discipline. This haircut, according to more in-depth articles about it, was given after other efforts proved to be ineffective. At 12 yrs. old, kids often tune out voices of authority and want all the privileges of an adult. The message here was: you want to act like an adult, then you can look like one too. btw, the boys grades improved significantly after the haircut.
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