Father Makes 4-Year-Old Son Hold Sign, 'I Hit Little Girls': Public Shaming Of Child Draws Fire

In a public shaming method of discipline, a father makes his 4-year-old son hold a sign reading, "I hit little girls" on along a busy street corner in Monroe, Michigan.

Tristan Devine was called out for hitting some girls at his class in school and his dad took a public shaming approach that infuriated the child's mother. She's not allowing her son to visit his father (also her ex-husband) until child welfare authorities investigate the incident, New York Daily News reports.

WXYZ-TV reports that Tristan's father -- Rob Devine -- made his son hold the sign for about an hour. He stood next to the boy, who's been in trouble several times for hitting girls at his school.

Mr. Devine says he didn't do anything wrong because taking away his son's toys and talking to him hasn't made any difference in changing his behavior.

"Honestly, I just wanted to do what I felt was right for my son," Mr. Devine says.

Brittany Tweed, Tristan's mother, feels her ex-husband went too far and that the punishment far outweighed the offense.

"I think it's sad for a 4-year-old to have to go on one of the busiest intersections holding a sign. Rob has had issues in his life, and no one put him out on the street and made him use a sign."
Tweed further explains that her little boy didn't take his public shaming seriously holding a sign that read, "I hit little girls."
"All he knew was that he was hot, exhausted and he wanted me to pick him up. And for me to take him away from that situation."
Tristan's father claims he'd do the same thing over again to make his son understand that he needs to learn from his bad behavior.
"I'm not gonna lie. If this persists … I'll figure out something else. It's trial and error. Kids don't come with an instruction manual."
As for the custody battle, the report goes on to say that the father will not pursue court action for joint custody of his son. Whatever the mother and the court decides in this case, will apply if child welfare gets involved.

Parents have forced their kids to engaged in all sorts of public shaming when it comes to punishment. While it's true children don't come with an instruction manual, many will argue that this father's handling of the situation of making his 4-year-old son hold a public shaming sign for hitting little girls wasn't the best way to do it. There will be some who agree that this was the best way to handle the disciplinary action given the circumstances.

[Image via ABC 7]