Dad Explains Why Parents Shouldn't Be Embarrassed By Toddlers' Tantrums: 'It Doesn't Reflect On You'

'Our children are learning and processing so much information.'

22/06/2017 11:02

A dad is encouraging parents to be more patient when their toddlers throw tantrums and not to be embarrassed when it happens in public.

Justin Baldoni, an American actor, shared a photo of his daughter on the floor in a Whole Foods store, as he and his dad watch her have a tantrum.

Baldoni called it one of his “favourite photos ever” and added that  parents should be “comfortable with the uncomfortable”.

“I can only imagine how many times I did this when I was her age,” Baldoni wrote on Tuesday 20 June.

“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. Something I grew up watching him do with me over and over again.”

Baldoni said his dad taught him 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,” he wrote.

“I don’t remember him ever saying: ‘You’re embarrassing me!’ or ‘Don’t cry’.

“It wasn’t until recently that I realised 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.”

Baldoni said he tries to remember this when his daughter is having a tantrum so she knows it’s okay that she “feels deeply”.

He said he’s not embarrassed when she has a tantrum in the supermarket or screams on the plane, so other parents shouldn’t be either. 

“Let’s not be embarrassed for our children,” Baldoni added. “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.”

Baldoni echoes what HuffPost UK blogger, Sarah Ockwell-Smith, has previously said in a blog about why we shouldn’t punish toddler tantrums.

“Toddlers can’t help tantrumming,” she wrote. “Their brains are not like adults.

“Our sophisticated brains allow us to control our impulses, act in a way that we know to be socially acceptable and calm our emotions before we become violent or out of control. Toddlers physically can’t do this.

“When they tantrum they are not being naughty or manipulative, they’re just being toddlers struggling with big feelings, poor communication skills and even poorer emotion regulation skills.”

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