Okay, so on our ‘everything i did’ podcast a few week’s back TK and I were having a little fun singing kid’s songs from the show Daniel Tiger. On the episode, I said that I was going to write a post about all the things I’ve learned from the show, and so here I am doing just that.

grey area

As a parent, TV is a really grey area for me, because I watched a TON of TV growing up and I feel like I turned out just fine. After school if our homework was done, we could watch as much TV as we wanted and my brother and I definitely watched hours of cartoons, game shows, and reruns of ’Saved By the Bell’ for hours on end.

However, this is a grey area for me because I know that most experts say it’s not great for your little ones to have more than 2 hours of screen time a day. Despite those stats, experts say that most kids are on some kind of device for upwards to 6-7 hours total.

why?

Why are kids having so much screen time? Because parenting is really hard work, that’s why. People no longer raise kids within the confines of large communities with a number of relatives on hand to help one another out. It’s often one or two parents trying to make dinner, keep a house clean, and work 40+ hours a week while keeping their kids alive. My boys can have the attention span of a fly, until you give them an iPhone, iPad or turn on the TV and suddenly they are captivated and don’t need my every waking second of attention.

so what do you do?

I guess it depends where you stand. If you’re on the stance of revolt against technology, you move to a place with great weather and search Pinterest for hours on end for activities to keep your kids busy. And if you’re everybody else, you look for the diamonds among the coal.

In my opinion, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood is one of those gems. From the very first episode I knew I loved this show. There was, of course, a dash of childhood nostalgia at the familiarity of the tunes that are originally taken from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. But I knew that I loved this show from day one, because it’s the show’s goal to teach kid’s life skills I actually care about.

Don’t get me wrong, I think educational shows teaching kids their ABC’s and whatnot can be useful too, but my kids learn facts like that by osmosis. However, you know what they don’t know how to do? Share. They actually physically cannot share, and Daniel Tiger wants to teach them how.

this applies to you too

So, before this becomes an epilogue on screen time for parent’s only, let me tell you why this post applies to you. This post applies to you, early lifer, or even you, human, because the skills that Daniel Tiger is teaching about human behavior and conflict resolution are great reminders at any age.

I feel like almost every single episode has nuggets of wisdom, but if you haven’t seen this show designed for a preschooler’s delight, each episode circles around two story arcs and are tied together by one “truth” and the “truth” has a catchy jingle written around it, that will get stuck in your head for week’s on end… but it does it’s job, because the catchy jingle sometimes comes back to you when you need it most.

These are the top four lessons that reminded me of the type of person I want to be.

4 things i learned from daniel tiger’s neighborhood

1) managing anger

Daniel learns a helpful method for how to deal with anger.  “When you’re feeling mad and you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to 4…. 1, 2, 3, 4.” This is a legitimate technique for road rage or finding the calm when you’re about to freak out on your kids.

2) decision making

Daniel learns how to make a decision quickly in the moment with the catchy tune. “Stop, think and choose”. If I could learn this, I would have a much easier time picking out my clothes.

3) being an optimist

Daniel encounters a bad situation and learns to change his thinking with the reminder. “When something seems bad, turn it around and find something good”. Bad things happen every day, being able to find the good in bad situations is an amazing skill to have.

4) good manners

Daniel learns to say thank you. “Thank you for everything you do!” Manners in general have a way of making all types of situations better, so go ahead try it out, please and thank you very much!

Published in life lessons
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