Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Daniel Tiger Lesson

I grew up watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood.  It wasn't my favorite but at times it was the only thing on TV.  

The shoes, sweaters, fish, mail man, trolley and make believe land were his teaching tools.

Sadly, Mister Rogers died in 2003.  
To keep his TV influence alive they created an animated version with similar concepts he taught.

On a recent trip to Utah I came across the new Mr. Roger’s show they call 
”Daniel Tiger Neighborhood“ 
 In desperation to keep Abi entertained in the hotel I passed on the Sponge Bob channel and gave Daniel Tiger a shot. I found the jingle additively cute and appreciated the new approach.

One of the concepts they teach through a song is something like;

                  "If something seems bad,turn it around 
                             and find something good."

The show didn’t fly with my older kids.  They thought everything about it was annoying. Around the house they sing the jingle in a mocking manner but laugh at it’s practical  application to situations.

Today in church Daniel Tiger taught me a lesson!

 A Missionaries was asked to give a talk.  

When he walked to the podium one of my kids said under his breath: ”I don’t like him.“
”Why?“I questioned
”He’s too “happy” he said with a bounce in his seat. (having obviously been exposed to this missionary’s personality)
“And he sounds like Ernie.” he added with a smirk.

At that moment Daniel Tiger came to mind.  I turned to him and sang the little jingle.
”If something seems bad, turn it around and find something good“

We laughed as I offered my made up version of why he is so happy.

“Maybe he grew up in a family where his parents were always happy.  So he has had a happy life and now he is happy to be on a mission.” 

We considered this as the way to turn around his “happy” annoyance into something good.

Half way through his talk he revealed the answer:
 “I grew up in a wonderful family.  I am the oldest of 4.  I have two sisters and a brother.  My parents have been great examples in my life. 
My mom is 100% blind and she has always been a happy person.  She has taught me that I have a choice in how I wan’t to view life.  I can be happy or I can choose not to be. 
                                         Because of her example,
                     I choose to be happy.”

The two of us looked at each other in disbelief!  

Daniel Tiger knows what he is talking about!

                         “If something seems bad, turn it around 
                              and find something good!”

If a blind mother of 4 can "turn around" her disadvantage to something good, and as a result raise "happy" children- she can see more clearly than me!

Lesson learned.

No comments: