Childrearing

This Dad’s Viral Post on Ignoring His Toddler’s Tantrum in Public Is Everything

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As parents, we all eventually deal with a toddler tantrum (or two…hundred) from our children. It’s just part of the way kids grow and learn. They can be hard to handle at times, of course. Sometimes we really just want to whisk our children away from prying eyes. Sometimes it can feel embarrassing. Sometimes we just want to throw ourselves down on the floor as well. But at the end of the day, we should probably just let kids do their thing, right? That’s what one dad’s post about public toddler tantrums is all about , and true me, it gets everything right.

Now, the dad in question isn’t technically just any dad. It’s Justin Baldoni, whom you might recognize as the actor who plays Rafael on Jane the Virgin.  Baldoni was shopping at a Whole Foods with his dad and toddler daughter when she apparently decided to have a meltdown in the middle of the store. The photo is of her crying on the floor while Baldoni and his dad both look down at her. Neither of the men look agitated in any way. They’re pretty damn chill about the whole thing, really. And that’s why Baldoni posted the image.

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I tried to stay off social media yesterday to connect with my family without distraction so I'm posting this today. Emily took this in Whole Foods. It's now one of my favorite photos ever of me and my dad. 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. #fathersday #redifinemasculinity #daddy #dearmaiya

A post shared by Justin Baldoni (@justinbaldoni) on

In the post, Baldoni admits it’s his favorite image of him and his father, who are, as he puts it, “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.”

You can definitely see that in the image. Baldoni continued:

“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  him do with me over and over again.”

Baldoni credits his father for teaching him how not to parent “based on what anyone else thinks.” And this is a prime example of that. At a moment when strangers might judge or sneer because their child is being “loud” or what some might feel is “out of control,” Baldoni knows that he just needs to let his daughter get her feelings out.

“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.”

Truer words, Baldoni. Also worth mentioning that the actor also says he’s working on “redefining masculinity” on his Instagram profile. From this post, it looks like he’s on the right track.

(Image: Instagram / @justinbaldoni)