They might avoid holding your hand, their lip quivering, or slouch onto the floor in a silent protest. But inevitably, the tears will start, and with it the loud cries - a full on toddler tantrum.
While it can be embarrassing and you may try to get your little one quiet down, or maybe hurry them out of the store, this viral photo makes an important point about fighting that instinct to feel ashamed.
The photo, shared by actor Justin Baldoni, shows Justin and his father looking down at Justin’s daughter, Maiya, who is in the throws of one such full-on toddler tantrum in the middle of a grocery store.
Instead of looking embarrassed, or trying to get her to stop crying, both men just watch her with tender expressions on their faces. Something that Justin thinks is crucially important to the emotional development of his little girl.
He explains in the caption: ‘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 "Dont cry!" It wasn't until recently that I realized how paramount that was for my own emotional development.’
He adds that he doesn’t want his daughter to grow up thinking that it’s not okay to be overwhelmed, or to express things that she is feeling.
‘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.
‘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.’
Teaching kids that their emotional moments are embarrassing and shameful is something that could come back and cause problems later in life.
So for the sake of the emotional health of the toddlers in our lives, don’t worry about the sideways glances from a couple of randoms in the supermarket.