Daniel Tiger Makes Me a Better Mom

Before I was a mom, I swore my kids wouldn’t watch any TV until at least 2. And I KNEW they would never be obsessed with any characters. Like no stuffed characters and no characters on their clothing.

HA. JOKE IS ON ME.

Daniel Tiger fan

Sent my big kid to school today in a Daniel Tiger shirt — Ugga Mugga!

Recently, my oldest has found big love for Daniel Tiger. And to be honest, I have no idea why we avoided it for so long. Daniel and his family are some kind of cute. Teacher Harriet is a vision of patience, and Grandpere is the least overbearing grandparent I’ve ever seen.

I loved Mr. Rogers Neighborhood as a kid and have all the nostalgia watching Daniel Tiger with my kids.

But even better than all of that, the lessons in the songs are everything.

I think I knew about the lessons before but more of in a “Daniel Tiger uses the potty so you should, too” kind of way. I didn’t realize that there would be a song aimed at the root of all feelings and behaviors. My son dances around singing the DT songs on a daily basis. My two-year-old says “grownups come back” each time we leave him with my mom for a minute. And while the songs have reminded my kids from time to time to take a deep breath, to stop to potty, and to help our friends, I have heard the messages and needed them even more than my kids. I often need Daniel’s messages louder and in a more immediate way than my kiddos do.

The songs are stuck in my head but in the best way. I have benefitted from Daniel as much as my kids have. I am being reminded frequently of the lessons I know and believe in but often aren’t my gut reactions. I have also been able to articulate my own feelings and frustrations to my kids in a way they understand. Because I have feelings, too! So, if you haven’t given Daniel Tiger a try with kiddos from 2 on, here is my endorsement. And if you need permission or justification, this is basically me saying that DT teaches me just as much as my kids.

Here are some of the lines that I have used with myself recently —

“When you feel so mad that you want to ROAR, take a deep breath and count to FOUR!”

“It’s OK to feel sad sometimes, little by little, you will feel better again.”

“When you’re sick, rest is best.”

“When you’re feeling frustrated, take a step back, and ask for help”

“Close your eyes and think of something happy.”

“When something seems bad, turn it around, and find something good.”

“When a friend needs different things than you, there are some things you can do.”

Rebecca is an attorney by day and a toddler wrangler by night. She is a product of divorced parents and grew up in both Thibodaux and Franklin, Louisiana. Rebecca attended Loyola University of New Orleans and Southern University Law Center. Rebecca married her high school bestie in 2012. Quinton and Rebecca went through months of infertility before giving birth to Maxwell Lincoln in 2015. In 2016, they were surprised by a baby boy due in June 2017. But, in February 2017, they suffered with incompetent cervix and delivered sweet Theodore Paul too soon. In October 2018, after an incredibly difficult pregnancy, a cerclage, and a whole bunch of bedrest, Fitzgerald Joseph was born -- a happy, healthy, and perfect rainbow. If you can't find Rebecca, you can summon her with pot of freshly brewed coffee or look for her in Target or behind the kitchen island where she is hiding from her kids with a very generous pour of red.