Parenting toddlers is not for the faint of heart. Somewhere in that moment between birthing this adorably helpless infant and proudly sending them off to their first day of kindergarten, parents welcome the wonder years that are the ‘terrible twos,’ threes and beyond.
Suddenly, your little human has decided that she is queen of this world we call planet earth—and you just so happen to live in it…so make WAY.
No father could know this better than Justin Baldoni, whose daughter’s latest tantrum in Whole Foods caught the public eye in a way he would’ve least expected. You see, it is often an instinctual reaction as parents to get that kid under control to stop the embarrassment, but this dad went for a little different approach.
In what he now describes as one of his “favorite photos ever” with his father, the two men are pictured standing over their little temper-tantrum princess, seemingly undaunted by the the meltdown that’s happening six feet below…
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,” wrote Justin.
“I can only imagine how many times I did this when I was her age,” he added. “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.”
While the image captured by his wife, Emily, certainly speaks for itself, it’s the explanation Justin offers alongside it that is just seeping with parental wisdom. He detailed the life lesson ingrained in the picturesque moment in a viral Facebook post:
“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 [sic] 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.”
Now amassing nearly 150,000 likes, comments, and shares, Justin’s words of fatherly wisdom have struck a powerful chord with parents across the country.
Several have even commented that the lack of judgment portrayed by onlookers in the photo helped ease their own anxieties about public “freak outs” with their kiddos.
Kudos to this bold, loving daddy for showing us all that it’s OK to shake off the shame of being imperfect parents, and most of all, that it’s OK for your kids to be kids.