Most parents don’t let their kids throw tantrums in public.

Tantrums are, of course, embarrassing. To be frank, they’re also obnoxious—and parents often feel the judging eyes of strangers if they can’t quiet their kids.

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Justin Baldoni

But tantrums can also be learning moments for both parents and children. Actor Justin Baldoni recently shared an incredible photo on social media for Father’s Day, and it’s something that every parent should see.

“Emily took this in Whole Foods,” the post begins. “It’s now one of my favorite photos ever of me and my dad.”

Baldoni described the scene poetically.

“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,” he wrote.

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Justin Baldoni

“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 ‘Don’t cry!’ It wasn’t until recently that I realized how paramount that was for my own emotional development.

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Justin Baldoni

“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.”

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Justin Baldoni

Baldoni used the hashtags #redefinemasculinity and #fathersday for this stirring post. 

On social media, the reaction was almost uniformly positive.

“The other thing I love about this picture is that I noticed the world continues to move on as the two of you are standing there,” wrote a user named Jessica Johnson.

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Justin Baldoni

“As parents, we often feel as though everyone is looking and judging, which makes us react instead of respond to our children. Sometimes they are, but more than often, people are too busy with their own stuff to notice what’s going on with us.”

Well said, Jessica. Parenting is certainly a difficult job, and for the most part, it’s thankless. However, every once in awhile, a father receives an incredible gesture of gratitude. This post certainly qualifies.

You can check out Justin’s original post here.

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