Daniel Tiger looks more like a stuffed animal than a sage. But he’s as wise as he is fuzzy.
In the animated TV show, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood – built upon Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood – Daniel Tiger shares simple life lessons that help toddlers deal with very real issues, such as disappointment, anger and jealousy.
Their parents say the shows provide counsel and reinforcement for them, too.
“I wish I could have had a show like that when I was young,” a father told me. “My favorite was the episode about being bullied.”
I heard that sentiment again and again at PBS Hawai‘i’s recent Keiki Club parties, as Daniel Tiger mingled with the excited toddler set.
“I admit it. I watch the show with my sons,” a mom told me. “And I find myself taking Daniel’s advice. It’s easy to remember, with those little songs that he and his friends sing.”
Oh, I know. I recall a heated discussion in the office. It ended with laughter, when a staffer chanted: “When you feel so mad, that you want to roar, take a deep breath, and count to four. 1, 2, 3, 4.”
The staffer was channeling Daniel Tiger, of course. The show shares social-emotional skills for preschoolers.
Feeling left out, sadness, frustration – these emotions can intrude at any time in life. Daniel Tiger faces these challenges and more with a knowing and positive spirit. He understands that sometimes kids don’t feel like brushing their teeth; potty-training can be awfully tricky; and it can be hard to say you’re sorry.
I asked a four-year-old what she learned from her buddy Daniel.
“Everyone is big enough to do something,” she answered proudly. “I’m big enough to clean up my toys by myself.”
Her mother commented, “I actually found myself thinking about Daniel Tiger during all this negative election stuff. We need to be more kind.”
As her child made a new friend in the Keiki Club, her mother added: “I told her that she needs to learn her manners; she wouldn’t want to turn out to be rude and mean, like some of the adults we see on the TV news.”
Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood airs daily at 9:00 and 9:30 am on PBS Hawai‘i.
Aloha a hui hou,