Most nights, to prepare dinner for my three kiddos, I wrangle them into the kitchen, lock the gate so no one can escape, and turn the TV on. As the witching hour begins, I let them take turns choosing the show they will watch in an attempt to calm them down and keep them quiet. My 4 year old often requests old school Mickey Mouse, my 2-year-old son screams for Elmo, and my 2-year-old daughter demands Daniel Tiger. I hate to admit it, but Daniel Tiger is one of the only kid shows that I’ve actually found myself watching alone while my little ones have gotten distracted by something else.
Daniel Tiger is strangely a very likable character (although it really bothers me that he doesn’t wear any pants). In every episode, Daniel learns a lesson and shares what he’s learned with a super catchy tune. And yes, I know many of the lyrics, and yes, I have found myself singing them to myself. BUT Daniel’s messages are powerful, and I feel like I have learned a lot from him… hopefully my kids have too! Here are 7 important life lessons that I’ve learned from Daniel Tiger.
1. “When you don’t get what you want, stomp three times to make yourself feel better.” It seems that I never get what I want! My kids never seem to listen to me at the same time, and the noise level at my house is insane. When no one wants to eat the dinner I’ve made, or a puzzle has been dumped on the floor twice after I’ve cleaned it up, I feel myself start to lose my cool. All I want is for everyone to cooperate. I have actually stomped my foot, and surprisingly they all froze…and for about 5 seconds, it worked, and I felt better. I guess for true results, I might have to actually stomp 3 times.
2. “So when you’re feeling frustrated, take a step back and ask for help.” I get especially frustrated with the idea of taking my three little ones out in public alone. Depending on where we go, it’s just not safe, and I hate feeling like that! I’m their mother, and I should be able to care for them on my own…but I can’t…so I’ve learned to ask for help. Family members and friends are always so willing to help, so why not ask?
3. “There are lots and lots of feelings, and we can feel them all.” I need to stop beating myself up for having the occasional negative thoughts about parenting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve snapped and yelled at my kids for not listening and then felt like the world’s worst mother. However, in a matter of minutes, after a small hug or my big boy picking up his toys, I’m back to feeling in control and happy. Being a mom is definitely a roller coaster of emotions, and that’s okay!
4. “Saying I’m sorry is the first step, then how can I help.” According to my husband, I am stubborn. And I will admit, I’m not always the first person to say I’m sorry, even though I expect that of my children. I’ve learned that ‘I’m sorry’ isn’t always enough, it’s the actions you take. Is it fair to say that Daniel Tiger has helped my marriage?
5. “Close your eyes and think of something happy.” I can’t tell you how many times I do this throughout the day! Traffic jam and I know I’ll be late to work – I close my eyes and think of summer at the beach. I stepped on another Lego in the middle of the night – I close my eyes and think of a chocolate fudge sundae. Hey, it’s better than shouting out a slew of bad words!
6. “Use your words and say how you feel. Most problems can be solved when you use your words.” Words are powerful. We need to say what we mean and mean what we say.
7. “But sometimes we just have to cry, wha wha wha wha wha.” Crying always seems to make me feel better (no judging). Whether it be a full out scary cry after a big fight with my sister, or happy tears from laughing too hard with best friends, crying can be a huge release.
Wow, it’s pretty amazing how much that little tiger knows! Any other Daniel Tiger fans out there?