There he was, in the middle of a Whole Foods, grocery shopping with his family when his toddler daughter threw herself onto the floor in the midst of a full-blown temper tantrum.
And what did this dad do? Absolutely nothing.
Justin Baldoni posted to Instagram about the ordeal and included an image of “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.” The proud dad remarked that it’s “now one of my favorite photos ever of me and my dad.”
It’s not his most-loved photo because of the ridiculous, can’t-help-but-laugh situation – quite the opposite. To Justin, the image is about one thing only: “Being comfortable in the uncomfortable.”
His dad taught him this valuable lesson by example.
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 “Don’t 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,” he added. “I’m her dad . . . not yours. Let’s not be embarrassed for our children.”
His final point was one all parents need to hear: “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 could also let ourselves feel more joy and happiness. And that is something this world could definitely use a little more of.”