My family was journeying home for dinner one evening, when my husband complemented me on the ease in which I coaxed our son away from the local playground. Shortly before we had to leave, I informed my then two-year-old that he could choose one more activity and then it would be time to go. I even had a little ditty to express my point:
“It’s almost time to stop, so choose one more thing to do. That was fun, but now it’s done.”
Hearing that song prompted my son to pick his last activity (one more time on the slide, from what I can remember), and I successfully prevented the dreaded meltdown.
Where did I procure this genius gem of parenting know-how? From one of the dozens of books authored by experts with multiple degrees? Or perhaps from one of my trusted mom friends or family? Nope, this came straight from the tiger. “Daniel Tiger.”
Yes, the PBS spawn of “Mr. Rogers” has taught me some of the best lessons on parenting. I will even go as far as to admit that my entire parenting philosophy is shaped by this program. It is that good.
I don’t know much about the development of the show, but I can assume several experts were consulted to ensure that it delivers just the right message to its target audience. The stories are clever, the tunes are catchy and the advice isn’t heavy handed. If you have no idea what you are doing (which I certainly do not), you could do a lot worse than following the guidance of this cartoon.
Take potty training, there’s a crap load (pun intended) of advice out there and who has the time to sort through it all? Luckily, our good pal Daniel has a catchy tune to inspire the little ones to give the old toilet a try.
“If you have to go potty, stop, and go right away! Flush and wash and be on your way.”
It’s so catchy, you might find yourself singing it before your next bathroom break.
The show is also fantastic at helping kids manage their emotions. Having a spirited three-year-old means tantrums. Though, I have yet to figure out the best way of preventing these outbursts, thanks to “Daniel Tiger,” I can at least help my son calm down.
“When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four.”
A few of Daniel Tiger’s lessons focus on kindness, from being thankful to doing nice things for others. I’m especially fond of the song for cooperation.
“Friends help each other, yes they do, it’s true.”
None of this is really revolutionary and most of it was probably gleaned from years of research. It’s the “Cliff Notes” version of every parenting book. It’s millions of expert words condensed into easy digestible bites. In other words, it’s perfect for the modern parent.