“You don’t have to be happy. You don’t have to be anything.”
Every parent strives to teach their children about emotional intelligence, but one dad on Facebook is showing the world how it’s done: In a sweet video that caught the conversation between father-of-two Randy Gaines and his daughter, he explains to the young girl that it’s okay to be mad.
“You don’t have to be happy,” Randy tells his daughter while bending down to her level. “You don’t have to be anything, okay?”
Randy’s wife, Deceena, secretly recorded the interaction after the couple’s daughter became upset while getting ready to go for a walk with her dad. In the video, Randy explains to his daughter that it’s fine to feel upset and that she is safe even when she’s mad.
Comforted, his daughter opened up about what caused the meltdown: She didn’t like the nickname he used.
“I respect you and I respect your feelings,” Randy responds to his little girl. “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?
Calling the father-daughter talk she recorded “one of the most powerful conversations in my life,” Deceena admitted to posting the video to Facebook without her husband’s knowledge because she was so touched by the his commitment to communicating with their kids.
“No yelling. No screaming. Talking. Discussing emotions and why we have such feelings,” Deceena wrote.
I fell in love with him before we had our girls, but moments like this make me fall even more in love with him... We connect on this level; and my heart explodes when he connects to his girls like this... ?Getting down to the root of the problem. Setting boundaries, because feelings were upset. RESPECTING boundaries, to ensure it doesn’t occur again... Parenting which neither of us had growing up. Listening ears as little ones speak. Knowing you are still loved no matter what. Knowing you are enough, always...
The video is resonating with parents around the world. After getting picked up by the page Love What Matters last week, the heartwarming chat on emotional intelligence has been watched millions of times.
“All of this is somewhat overwhelming. I'm beyond moved and flattered,” her husband wrote in a Facebook post addressing the viral video.
It seems parents around the world are moved as well—and for good reason. When we respect our children’s emotions, we give them the tools to process and manage them better. And, often, we can learn a thing or two in the process.