It's never fun to feel upset, but sometimes you just have to acknowledge your feelings before you can move on.
That's the message a man named Randy Gaines gave his daughter. In a video that an anonymous submitter sent to the Love What Matters Facebook page of their husband and daughter, a man identified as Gaines can be seen talking to his daughter about the importance of acknowledging and communicating her feelings.
From the video, it would appear that Gaines' daughter is upset at him for calling her "button," but instead of shrugging it off, he validates her feelings, telling her, "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. The important thing is, whenever you're feeling things like this, is to just not stay there for a long time. You want to accept it, you want to honour it, you want to acknowledge it, and then let it go."
It's no wonder that Gaines' partner wrote, "my heart explodes when he connects to his girls like this. No yelling. No screaming. Talking. Discussing emotions and why we have such feelings."
"You can be mad at me, you can be mad at your mom, you can be mad at yourself," Gaines tells his daughter in the video. "Just don't hang onto it for too long, because that's when it gets to be a problem."
Gaines may be talking to a young girl, but it's an important lesson for all of us to remember — letting yourself feel and acknowledge negative emotions can actually be a good thing. Earlier this year, a study found that embracing a bad mood can have a positive effect on your overall well-being.
In this little girl's case, she had to accept and acknowledge how annoying it is that her dad nicknamed her "button" — and he can relate.
"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?" he asks. "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 beyond words, Gaines has a pretty good suggestion for his daughter to work off her anger, suggesting that they go on a walk at the end of the video.
"You can run that off, run that anger off if you want, you can kick dirt, whatever you need to do to feel better," he says.
As his partner puts it in the Facebook post, Gaines gets to the root of the problem, sets boundaries, and respects boundaries. His healthy parenting approach is really resonating with people, and the video has gone viral with more than 7,000 shares and more than 673,000 views at the time of writing. In addition to simply showing some great parenting skills, commenters on the Facebook post have pointed out that it's great to see a man talking to his daughters about emotions and eschewing toxic masculinity.
"This is a father who is setting the example of future men in her life," one person wrote. "She will know how to be treated and with this father, sexism will die. Thank you!"