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Dad Lets His 3-Year-Old Son 'Let It Out' After He Hurts His Finger And Explains Why Parents Should Let Their Kids Cry

Photo: TikTok
Sven Erlandson telling a story about his son on TikTok

A father on TikTok was having a normal day at the grocery store with his 3-year-old son when, all of a sudden, it turned into a teachable moment for parents everywhere and a lesson in “gentle parenting” and treating your children with compassion.

While they were at the grocery store, spiritual counselor Sven Erlandson, father of the 3-year-old boy sitting in the shopping cart, had been looking through the shelves and shopping when he heard a wailing sound coming from his son.

The dad held his son and told him to ‘let it out’ as he cried in pain because of his fingers.

The text at the very beginning of the video reads, “The #1 mistake parents make!” before getting into the meat of what happened during his fateful trip to the grocery store. “I’m looking for whatever sh-- on the shelves and all of a sudden I hear this f--king wailing piercing my ears,” he said. “I look down and it’s my son.”

“He’s holding his finger — he got his finger pinched in the cart as every kid has done ever since the beginning of time and he’s f--king wailing,” Erlandson says.

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Being in a public space with a crying child would be a nightmare scenario for most parents — when the embarrassment sets in and they have no idea how to control their baby, bad decisions can be made and they may mistreat their child’s emotional crisis.

“I lift him out of the cart and I’m holding him in my arms and I’m saying ‘Come on! Let it out sweetheart, let it out! It’s going to be okay, let it out!’” he explains. “And the reason I did that is because before we ever even got married I said to my wife ‘if we ever have kids, any time they ever get hurt, we’re going to stop everything we’re doing and we’re going to hold them and we’re going to have them let it all out.’”

He explains that the reason he told his wife that was because of what happened next.

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His son eventually calms down and lets his dad know that he’s done.

“He’s wailing, but eventually, as he’s letting it out and people are walking by and looking at me and sh-- and you feel somewhat embarrassed by all of this, he goes from wailing to sobbing,” Erlandson explains. “And he goes from sobbing eventually down to crying, and then he goes from crying down to whimpering.”

His son’s emotions continue to get less and less intense to the point where he goes from a soft sniffle to looking around and trying to wiggle out of his father’s arms. Erlandson tried to continue encouraging his son to cry, but he wasn’t having any of it, and told him “but papa, I’m done.”

“He wiggles out of my arms and he goes to try to find a box of Fruit Loops or something like that,” returning to business as usual. Erlandson continues to explain how important it is for children, whether they are 3 years old or teenagers who had just experienced heartbreak or friends who are pissing them off, to let out the pain.

“The body stores the pain, and you may think when you’re in your twenties or thirties, ‘Oh I’m tough no big deal, f--k that shit. I don’t care about that’ and you just power through, but give it until your forties or your fifties and all of that stored pain in that vault begins to drag you down into a state of depression, into a state of forever anxiety, into overthinking.”

Erlandson believes that people who continue running from their pain will have it affect all aspects of their life when they could just face the pain and let it out until they reach the point where they, too, can say “papa, I’m done.”

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.