Mr. Rogers

As we all stay home and try to entertain our kids all day, we find ourselves changing our parenting styles and we attempt to keep the family sane. In our house, this had led a screen free 2 year old to watching some TV just to give Mom and Dad enough time to answer a few emails and get their daily work done.

Now, we still have restrictions on what he can watch.  We let him watch live sporting events and what we would call "educational TV".  Right now, those options include Our Planet and our all time favorite, Mr. Rogers.

I have always loved Mr. Rogers, but really starting falling for the TV show after listening to the podcast, Finding Fred. Hearing everything about how and why Fred Rogers did what he did made me realize, maybe having my son watch this isn't a bad idea.

My son was first introduced to the show a few weeks ago when the COVID-19 outbreak began.  My mother-in-law was in town taking care of him and they decided to watch an episode.  He fell in love right away.  So, after she left, we continued to watch 1 episode a day.

It is amazing how Mr. Rogers can talk about serious every day issues that we face and speak about them in real terms. He doesn't beat around the important things in life.  He talks about everything from sharing to divorce.  These are real world issues.  The way he talks is also important.  He uses a soft voice and speaks slowly.  He is easy to understand and his voice is comforting.  The difference between Mr. Rogers and other children's TV is that he catches the attention of children by being calm and soothing. Other TV shows capture attention by using quick changing scenes, flashing lights and loud noises.  They talk about this a lot in the podcast.

I have to say, I have also learned a lot from watching with my child.  It teaches me lessons on how to be a better parent.  It gives me ideas of how to better discuss feelings with my son.  I find myself becoming calmer and using the same techniques Mr. Rogers does to talk to my kid when we are trying to teach him an important lesson.

Mr. Rogers and being stuck at home has changed my outlook and use of screen time, but I still remember that limited quantities is still the best.  There is still no better way to learn than to play and use your imagination...Just like Mr. Rogers does.


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