Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Bad Assed Kids, George Jefferson Haircuts, And The Inherent Laziness Of Public Shame Parenting.

As any one with sons will tell you, raising boys is hard. Not that raising girls is any easier[1], mind you. But boys present their own share of problems, the most persistent of which is behavior. My 8 and 6 year olds are a case study in this issue: they fight each other, don't clean up after themselves, are notoriously picky eater, and complain when asked to do something they don't want to. Despite all this, they do very well in school, and their teachers would probably be flabbergasted to know how differently they behave at home.

Disciplining our sons is an ongoing struggle. My wife and I have tried every technique imaginable, from timeouts, to whippings, to the "Take Sh*t They Really Like Away For A Few Days" method. Some of this works for awhile, and then it's back to the usual "Boys Will Be Boys" tomfoolery. One thing we haven't tried is public shaming, which thanks to Black Twitter, seems to be all the rage nowadays. So much so that Embarass Yo' Kids is now being examined by mainstream media.
Got a kid who’s raising hell? Afraid the police will be called if you break out the belt? A suburban Atlanta barbershop may have a solution for you.

Three days a week, parents can take their misbehaving kids to A-1 Kutz and ask for the “Benjamin Button Special,” which Russell Fredrick and his team of barbers are offering — free of charge — to parents who want to try a novel form of discipline.

The cut involves shaving hair off the child’s crown until he begins to resemble a balding senior citizen, inviting that unique brand of adolescent humiliation that can only come from teasing classmates and unwanted attention. Supporters say it’s the perfect punishment for misbehaving kids who want to “act grown.”

Fredrick, the A-1 Kutz co-owner and a 34-year-old father of three, said he decided to advertise the cut after he used the unique disciplinary measure on his 12-year-old son, Rushawn, last fall — and saw immediate results. Rushawn’s grades, which had fallen, “dramatically skyrocketed” after he got his old-man haircut, Frederick said.

Even so, he added, giving your child a haircut that makes them look like a mini-George Jefferson should be a last resort. The 10-year-old child in the photos he shared on social media had been brought to the barbershop by a single mother who told Fredrick she was looking for a way to teach her son a lesson after he misbehaved in school.

One person who is willing to make a value judgement is Willie Jefferson Jr., a Houston father of two who shaved his 11-year-old son’s head after he misbehaved in class last fall. “I know what works for my children,” said Jefferson, who noted that he grew up in an “old school Mississippi family,” where corporal punishment was the norm. “When I spank, it corrects behavior. You may be able to talk to some kids; for others a spanking or an embarrassing haircut may be a great option.”

Jefferson told The Post that the threat of public humiliation was so effective, his son is still on good behavior several months after he was given an old-man haircut. He noted that spanking or a humiliating haircut should be a last resort for parents, but an option nonetheless.

“Shaming isn’t bad for children if it teaches respect,” he said. “It taught me respect, it taught my parents respect, it taught my grandparents and great grandparents respect, and that’s what I’m going to stick with.”
When I first saw that kid's photo on Black Twitter, I thought "Damn, kids are going to the barbershop and asking for 'The Lebron James' now"? Sadly, there was much more to this photo than met the eye.

I'm gonna keep it two hunned here: This is some ignorant assed sh*t. The parents who say this worked for them are not being truthful with themselves, and using this technique to excuse the fact that they've been generally sh*tty parents. You may see a temporary change in behavior, but I doubt the longterm results are going to be favorable.

For kids, self esteem is everything. Expecting a 10 year old to endure ridicule from his peers, and learn some sort of lesson in the process is insane. That kid's probably going to be very resentful, and maybe even become more of an asshole as a result. And if a kid's acting out that badly and screwing up in school, it's most likely a symptom of some greater issue going on at home. This addresses none of that, it's the parenting equivalent of Fix-A-Flat. It'll work for a minute, but rely on it too much and you're gonna end up with an even bigger problem than you started out with. Or something like that.

Sorry, I think this is terrible parenting. I'm sure I'm in the minority. I don't care. This is some bassackwards sh*t and it does not need to be glorified. Stop it already.

Question: Is Public Shame Parenting a viable method for correcting your child's behavior?

[1] My two year old daughter is... to put it lightly... a handful.

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