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Actor’s post about parenting, public tantrums sparks online debate

LOS ANGELES – A Father’s Day post by an actor  has stirred up a big debate online.

On June 19, Justin Baldoni posted a photo of himself, his father and his almost 2-year-old daughter, Maiya Grace Baldoni on Facebook.

In the photo, Maiya is throwing a tantrum and crying on the floor of a busy supermarket.

Baldoni says it is a moment that a lot of parents dread, but it is something that he has learned to handle with a little help from his father.

“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 things. 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 ny 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 [throws] tantrums in the grocery store, or screams on a plane,” Baldoni wrote.

“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,” he concluded.

While many parents praised his advice, others weren’t as complimentary.

“How about teaching your kids how to behave in public? My kids got to go almost everywhere with me, understanding that you must respect other people. This ‘all about me’ method of parenting is a precursor to the child’s failure to respect authority in school, at work and society. It can be traumatic to realize you can’t get everything you want… better to have that reality sink in sooner than upon reaching adulthood,” one commenter wrote.

The post earned more than 4,000 comments and was shared more than 27,000 times.