Justin Baldoni was out shopping with his wife, dad, and toddler when the little girl had a meltdown. At that age, a tantrum can happen for seemingly no reason at all, and while most parents will try and quiet their child, Baldoni just stood over her and waited it out. His wife captured the moment that he shared with his dad as they smiled and patiently waited for the girl to finish her outburst on the floor, surrounded by strangers.
It’s now one of my favorite photos ever of me and my dad.” He wrote.
Two men, standing together in silence, forever bonded by an unconditional love for both each other and this brand new, raw and pure soul who we would both go to the ends of the earth for. I can only imagine how many times I did this when I was her age. My dad taught me so much about what it means to be a man, but this post is about one thing and one thing only. Being comfortable in the uncomfortable. Something I grew up watching him do with me over and over again. There are no perfect parents, but one thing my dad taught me is to not parent based on what anyone else thinks. My dad always let me feel what I needed to feel, even if it was in public and embarrassing. I don’t remember him ever saying “You’re embarrassing me!” or “Dont cry!” It wasn’t until recently that I realized how paramount that was for my own emotional development.
Our children are learning and processing so much information and they don’t know what to do with all of these new feelings that come up. I try to remember to make sure my daughter knows it’s OK that she feels deeply. It’s not embarrassing to me when she throw tantrums in the grocery store, or screams on a plane. I’m her dad…not yours.
Let’s not be embarrassed for our children. It doesn’t reflect on you. In fact.. we should probably be a little more kind and patient with ourselves too. If we got out everything we were feeling and allowed ourselves to throw tantrums and cry when we felt the need to then maybe we’d could also let ourselves feel more joy and happiness. And that is something this world could definitely use a little more of.”
Of course, judgmental people immediately began to criticize this method of parenting, but thousands more supported it. Teaching children to process their emotions is a tricky thing to do, and what works for one person might not work for another. And as one comment put it, “I know ADULTS that can’t control their emotions in public…how can anyone expect a 2-year-old to do it on command?”
Dad started a huge conversation with his post, and it has been shared thousands of times as a result. Where do you stand?
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