I’ll admit: I was skeptical of Daniel Tiger at first. So is my five-year-old, every time we turn it on for our two-year-old to watch. (The former sits down with the latter for every episode, though, every time.)
Mr. Rogers’s pastoral sense and uncanny ability to love, honor, and celebrate children is not quite replicated by Daniel Tiger, but Daniel does pretty well–better than I thought an animated character could do. Here’s a short clip (30 seconds) that represents how Daniel models dealing with disappointment:
It’s not uncommon for my two-year-old to answer Daniel Tiger’s questions and comments, which Daniel puts to the viewer in much the same way that Mr. Rogers did.
Best of all–there’s a soundtrack for the show. This has a noticeably positive effect on our two-year-old and his assessment of life in the early morning, without having him in front of a screen. Nearly every morning at our house now begins with a collective listen through this album. The music is catchy! I have to try really hard not to sing these songs to people around me.
The big hit lately around our house has been these printable pages of the characters in Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.
Unfortunately, my quoting, “When something seems bad, turn it around–find something good!” doesn’t always work for my two-year-old when he’s really grumpy. But it’s hard being two! And Daniel Tiger seems to get that, keeping a positive outlook throughout all the vicissitudes of toddlerdom.