daniel tiger songs

{found via pinterest}

the last few days keane has been on a daniel tiger kick, which means i walk around the house singing songs about jealousy and anger and empathy. if you don't know who daniel tiger is - like i didn't a couple years ago - he's entirely based off of mr. rogers.

i'm a pretty big mr. rogers fan mostly because he taught me a lot as a kid; he was on tv for all of those years, and still didn't seem to get corrupted by being such a well-known figure; and it doesn't hurt that he's from pittsburgh.

anyway, these little songs - jingles, really - often come up in daily life. sometimes i'm the one reminding my little guy that "when you're feeling frustrated take a step back and ask for help." but my current favorite daniel tiger in the real world sighting came a couple of weeks ago when keane got in trouble for something or other, and as i got frustrated he looked up at me with those big brown eyes of his, and started singing "when something seems bad turn it around [and find something good]."

little stinker.
how could i not smile at that?

of course after that he has started singing that song much more regularly when he gets put in time-out. i think he's hopeful that it'll get him out of it somehow.

the show really has helped him have a better understanding of his emotions - at least to an extent. every once in a while he'll be in the middle of playing and he'll step back and say "i frustrated." or he'll be getting in trouble for something and he'll step back and say "i'm MAD!" [yes, ALL CAPS]

he also uses his new-found knowledge of emotions to unwittingly diffuse situations. if i start to let frustration get the better of me he will often say - "mommy, you frustrated?"

it tends to help the frustration dissipate when you're called out by a 2 ½ year old.

this doesn't mean that he never gets upset, or is remarkably good at controlling all of his emotions. he is 2 ½ after all. but it does help having something to point back to and help him more fully understand situations in which he finds himself.

sometimes i wish there was a daniel tiger for adults. most of our shows aren't exactly about controlling our emotions or teaching important life lessons. at best they're entertainment, and at worst they damage our understanding of the truth.

sometimes we need to be reminded that we need to "keep trying you'll get better" or "saying i'm sorry is the first step, then how can i help?"

how often are we encouraged to say i'm sorry? not the - i'm sorry this happened to you i'm sorry, but the really, truly "i did something that hurt you, and i'm really very sorry" sorry. it's a lot easier to blame someone else, or to convince yourself that it's not a big deal. truly apologizing is tough as a grown-up because we don't want to have to do all we can to make things right. or maybe that's just me?

i think that's one of the toughest things about parenting, at least so far. you have to go back and apologize when you do something stupid. every time you do something you wish you hadn't, you have an audience.

but doing the tough things are usually what sets great people aside. taking jimmy dugan's quote out of context [from a league of their own] "the hard is what makes it great." doing the tough things well makes a huge difference in life. that's what makes people great. some people are great out in front of the whole world. some people are quietly great in the midst of their everyday lives. but if i don't step up in the midst of difficult situations i will never be great - not even quietly.

this whole subject reminds me of a quote from the pilot episode of friends [because what doesn't remind me of friends?] "welcome to the real world; it sucks, you're going to love it."

that's quite a lot to learn from a little animated tiger, don't you think? and, you know, a few other avenues of entertainment... have you found lessons in unexpected places? kids shows or otherwise?

or is it just me, and i'm a little crazy? because that's entirely possible too *wink*



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