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'Jane the Virgin' star Justin Baldoni keeps cool during toddler's public tantrum

by Allison Slater Tate / / Source: TODAY Contributor

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It's a law in the land of parenting: if you take your child out in public, sooner or later, you're likely to face that universal parenting experience of the Public Toddler Meltdown.

Celebrities are not an exception to this rule, as 33-year-old "Jane the Virgin" star Justin Baldoni discovered recently when he took his daughter Maiya, 2, to Whole Foods with his father and his wife, Emily, who is expecting their second child.

At some point in their Whole Foods trip, little Maiya felt the need to express herself in a very public manner, and Baldoni's wife took a picture of his reaction to Maiya's meltdown. He posted what he called "one of my favorite photos ever of me and my dad" on Instagram, where it has since received over 91,000 likes.

Even better than Baldoni and his dad's bemused reactions to Maiya's emotional display is what Baldoni wrote in the caption: "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.

"I can only imagine how many times I did this when I was her age," he wrote.

Baldoni went on to explain that his father taught him how to be "comfortable in the uncomfortable," and that there are no perfect parents, but "one thing my dad taught me is to not parent based on what anyone else thinks.

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"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 'Dont cry!' It wasn't until recently that I realized how paramount that was for my own emotional development."

TODAY Tastemaker and child development expert Dr. Deborah Gilboa told TODAY Parents that Baldoni did everything right in this scenario.

"When kids get overwhelmed, it often leads them to act in ways that make us grown-ups feel at best useless and at worst mortified," she said.

"Justin Baldoni showed us exactly how to chill during these moments: keep your kiddo and yourself safe, don't waste your breath telling them how to feel, and find some empathy for their struggle."

"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," Baldoni wrote in his caption. "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."

Baldoni noted that maybe we would all be better off if we expressed ourselves toddler-style sometimes. "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," he wrote.

"And that is something this world could definitely use a little more of."

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