The Milan coach believes his star striker comes in for unwarranted criticism and would thrive were it not for the attention of the media
The 23-year-old reacted angrily to being substituted during Friday's 2-0 loss at Roma before launching into a tirade at journalists after the game.
The Dutchman believes that the former Manchester City forward has been hindered by the huge amount of attention paid to him by the media and believes he thrives if left to his own devices.
"Balotelli has improved. He asked me why he was substituted against Roma, the same way Keisuke Honda did against Lazio. We have an excellent rapport between adults," he told Sky.
"I don't think he left the field in a bad way. As for insulting his team-mates after a mis-placed pass, I've seen that gesture 1000 times in my career.
"Journalists have not helped Balotelli's growth. I talk to him and give him constructive criticism, but I do it in private, not via the media. At times, it's better to leave him alone.
"I feel his positive changes are not highlighted. It's not fair only to look at his negative moments. His scoring statistics are strong."