Little kids aren’t always the best at acknowledging and learning how to deal with their feelings, and let’s be real—sometimes adults aren’t either.
In a video that has been viewed over two million times on the Love What Matters Facebook page and several thousand times on the original uploader’s page, a father in Ohio explains to his daughter how it’s perfectly normal to feel upset. He also tells her the importance of communication when it comes to her emotions.
While his lesson was directed towards his daughter, his words are something we can all benefit from learning.
“You don’t always have to be happy. You don’t always have to be silly or funny. You don’t have to be anything…”
In the video, which Deceena Gaines shared of her husband, Randy Gaines, it appears that her daughter became upset with Randy after he called her “button.”
Rather than scold her for any negative reaction she may have had, Randy validated her feelings by telling her it was ok to be upset that he teased her.
“It’s ok to feel this way,” he assured her.
Throughout his talk, Randy remained calm and completely focused on his daughter.
After explaining that he didn’t mean to make her upset, he used an example where the name-calling was reversed to make it clear how important it is to communicate your feelings with others.
You know how you call me ‘jerkface’ sometimes, and sometimes it’s okay, and sometimes I get a little bit mad about it, don’t I? And that’s okay. It’s important to talk about it, so I know that’s your boundary, and I respect it, and I won’t push past it. Okay? But you gotta tell me first. I respect you, and I respect your feelings. And if it’s not okay to joke with you today, I won’t do it. Just let me know so I don’t do it, okay? Because if I don’t know better, I can’t do better.
And for the times the little girl has trouble working through her emotions—her father advised her not to bottle up her feelings for too long because then it becomes a “problem”—Randy suggested she go for a run, kick some dirt, or “whatever you need to do to feel better.”
Deceena called the moment between father and daughter “one of the most powerful conversations in my life.”
Deceena was amazed by the compelling talk Randy gave their daughter, but as she wrote on Facebook, she’s not entirely surprised.
“Our goals as parents are to ensure they do not endure what we did as children…” she wrote. “I am so blessed, and so thankful to have this man as my other half. Our girls are blessed to have him as their father.”
His approach of getting to the root of the problem, setting boundaries, and then respecting those boundaries is a lesson for everyone, no matter your age.