Being a parent is a tough job, but one dad, Randy Gaines from Kettering, Ohio, is making the most of his opportunity as a father by teaching his daughter how to deal with her emotions. While we don’t always think of men as being the most emotionally connected, Randy is raising the bar on parenting and doing what it takes to point his daughters in the right direction. A video posted back in 2017 by Randy’s wife, Deceena Gaines, shows him talking to one of their girls and helping her process her negative feelings.
Deceena did not know that the video she posted online would end up being watched by millions of people. Viewers were awed by the mature and calm way Randy dealt with his upset daughter and how well he explained that being emotional is normal and okay. Randy and Deceena share four children together, so it should be no surprise that he has a surplus of parenting experience. Still, Randy’s calm and supportive words struck a chord not only with his daughter but also with viewers worldwide.
The incident happened when Randy playfully teased his little girl and, although she is usually a goofy girl, she took it the wrong way this day. When the child got angry and acted out, Randy took her aside to talk to her about her feelings and the best way to deal with them. Randy got down to eye level with the little girl and talked to her face-to-face, just as if she was an adult.
This is an important detail and technique that many professionals dealing with children daily favor. By being eye-level with your child, you make yourself less of a threat and take away the feeling of being literally talked down to.
Randy reminded her that sometimes she likes to joke with him and call him silly names and that sometimes he likes to do the same with her. Then he pointed out that when she isn’t feeling silly, she needs to tell him so he won’t tease her. He repeatedly told her that he respects her feelings and will allow her to have boundaries. Randy also told the little girl that it’s OK to have negative emotions — you just have to process them and go on with life:
“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 that way — to not just stay there all the time. You want to accept it, you want to honor it, you want to acknowledge it, and let it go.”
Rather than allowing the anger to well up and fester, Randy told her that she needs to work through it and move on with life. Some of the coping tools that Randy suggested involved running around, kicking dirt and punching a pillow when she gets angry. Randy was quick to explain to the little girl that she was allowed to feel angry at anyone in the family and that they would still love her no matter what.
At the end of the video, Randy and his little girl kiss before he helps her get ready to go outside for a walk.
Deceena, who posted the video, explained what a touching moment it was for her. She is so glad to live in a house where parents can connect with and guide their children without the usual yelling and screaming. While you might expect Randy and Deceena to have been raised in a household where emotions were freely expressed and honored, this is not the case. Deceena says that neither she nor her husband had tenderness growing up. Rather than following in the footsteps of their parents, they have taken the courageous step toward something better. Deceena said that she is so blessed to have him in her life — and we’re sure the girls will grow up to feel the same way about their amazing dad!
When the video gained traction, local news stations heard about it as well. In an interview with WHIO TV 7 in 2017, Randy gives his own explanation for why this video resonated with so many people all over the world:
“It’s an open, honest, genuine moment that was very personal and positive. I don’t think you see a lot of that in the media or online. Most people aren’t used to seeing this parenting style. People all over the country are reaching out. A lot of people have said they didn’t receive this as a child and are going to do this for their kids.”
The article also mentioned that Randy was very honored and humbled to have received so much positive feedback.
His simple and yet heartwarming Facebook post read:
“Today was nothing short of incredible. I appreciate and am thankful for everyone’s generosity. We raised $1,040 for our server, and the experience of watching her reaction was priceless. Though the Waffle House punishment was absolutely miserable, it was well worth it in the end.”
A spokesperson for Waffle House had this to say to Carsley according to Fox News.
“While we are sorry that Michael Carsley was unable to win his Fantasy Football league, we are honored that he chose to spend some time with us last Sunday. In doing so, he and his friends graciously turned a losing bet into something greater and extra special for our Associate, Mosammat Shumi, a beloved member of her restaurant team. We also appreciate the way Mr. Carsley and his friends chose to recognize Ms. Shumi, a 12-year Waffle House veteran, for her service by thoughtfully pooling funds together in order to serve her such an extremely generous tip. We know it made her day, and it certainly made ours, so on behalf of our entire Waffle House Team, we thank them.”
The spokesperson even added on a little joke after the whole circumstances were explained: “We do wish Mr. Carsley better luck with his next Fantasy Football team. But just in case, we’ll be sure to keep the waffle bakers hot and ready.” Despite the cheeky comment, we hope Carsley’s next fantasy football adventure will have a better ending and see him win the league – he certainly deserves it!