What I can learn from Daniel Tiger

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood, a beautiful day for a neighbor…

If you have a child under the age of five living in your home, it’s likely you’ve overheard an episode or two of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.  (Sidenote: even if you aren’t a parent, you should at least check out episode four, in which Daniel Tiger visits the crayon factory.  Yes!  The crayon factory episode, from the original Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood, can be relived!)  Daniel has some great songs, some great messages, a family favorite is, “I like you. I like you. I like you just the way you are.”

So, aside from some nice jingles, and reminders to stop playing and go potty right away, what can you (yes, you, an adult) learn from Daniel Tiger?  It’s winter here in Michigan.  Yes, it is only mid-November, but it is hats, mitten, and heated-seats time.  The pine branches outside my window are already heavy with winter.  The radio has been littered with slide-off announcements, and my Facebook feed has been cluttered with angry emoticons and virtual fist shakes at Winter’s early entrance.  So, back to Daniel Tiger; in Charlotte’s favorite episode Daniel  sings, “When something seems bad, turn it around.  And, find something good.”  The tiger gets it. My three-year-old gets it.  Choose joy.



For me, choosing joy when this gorgeous white fluff is covering all the leaves we didn’t rake, the lawn we neglected this spring and summer, and the driveway we really meant to power-wash, is easy.  I love snow.  I have always loved snow;  it feels like a special gift from our Creator to me.  But, I do not like when plans change unexpectedly; it is not easy for me to “turn it around and find something good” when three of the five people in our home have the stomach flu.  So, don’t mistake this as a chiding for those of you who don’t like winter; rather, it is an  invitation to join me in embracing Daniel Tiger’s message to choose joy.  A few tips that have helped this momma “turn it around…”

 As you bump into things (both literally and figuratively) throughout the day, which rub you the wrong way, try:

1. asking your kids to help you find something good (they’re so good at choosing joy);

2. keep a list (written or in your head) of family & friends who are facing similar struggles, and pray for them instead of thinking about you;

3. be silly (this works really well for parents of young ones); hokey-pokey, hide and seek, tickle wars.

How do you choose joy throughout your day?IMG_1712

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