When our kids act out, it's hard not to feel like it reflects poorly on our parenting skills. But, really, children are their own people, full of emotions and strong wills and everything else. So, when they thrown themselves on the floor in the middle of Whole Foods we don't have to slink away in shame.
Dad Justin Baldoni (yes, that Justin Baldoni, the one you've seen in "Jane the Virgin") recently stood his ground when this exact scenario played out while he was shopping with his family. In a photo Baldoni posted on Instagram, we can see his toddler daughter flailing on the supermarket floor while her dad and grandfather stand calmly over her.
In the Instagram caption, Baldoni wrote, "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."
Baldoni continued by explaining that his dad always let him feel whatever he needed to feel, never chiding him for embarrassing him in public. "It wasn't until recently that I realized how paramount that was for my own emotional development," he wrote. "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."
Yes! One of the most wonderful things about being human is having emotions, and we should teach our children to own their feelings, name them, and learn to understand them and process them. Plus, we as parents must remember that little kids literally don't have the ability to manage their emotions yet. We wouldn't expect a toddler to be able to ride a two-wheel bike, so why do we expect them to balance their feelings to adult-appropriate levels? We've got to remember to only expect developmentally realistic skills.
"Let's not be embarrassed for our children," Baldoni concluded. "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."
How do you handle your kids' temper tantrums in public?