I watched Mr. Rogers as a child, and admit I wasn't really all that into him. But when my third child was preschool age, I was having a really hard time. She's a strong-willed little girl, and I felt like I had used up any residual strong-willedness inside of me. I just wasn't a match for her anymore. I prayed about it, and got the oddest answer to my prayer--watch Mr. Rogers with her. So we did, and it worked.
In my opinion, Mr. Roger's Neighborhood is actually a parenting class disguised as a children's show. We learned a new language for communicating with each other. And I held her tight for half an hour every day, which I soon realized was something she needed every bit as much as she needed food.
His show isn't as easy to find as it used to be. At least in my neck of the woods, PBS doesn't play Mr. Roger's anymore. (This is a crime, IMO). But you can still download his shows from amazon.
I own several Mr. Roger's quote books, and his insights on both relationships and creativity are pretty astounding. Here are some of my favorites:
- You rarely have time for everything you want in life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.
- I believe it's a fact that what we have is less important than what we make of what we have.
- There's something unique about being a member of a family that really needs you in order to function well. One of the deepest longings a person can have is to feel needed and essential.
- I like to swim, but there are some days I just don't feel much like doing it--but I do it anyway. I know it's good for me and I promised myself I'd do it every day, and I like to keep my promises. That's one of my disciplines. And it's a good feeling after you've tried and done something well. Inside you think, "I've kept at this and I've really learned it--not by magic, but by my own work.
- Try your best to make goodness attractive. That's one of the toughest assignments you'll ever be given.
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