Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why I Like Daniel Tiger

As a mother of a toddler, I am watching shows that I would have had previously no interest in.

One of these is Daniel Tiger.

I watched Mr. Rogers neighborhood growing up, and loved it, but Kevin is really into the "spin-off" cartoon series about Daniel Tiger.

I don't have very many problems with it. I find it far less annoying the 90% of the other kid shows out there. It's pretty cute, teaches good moral lessons, and has catchy songs that get stuck in your head.

However, one of the things that I like about it most, is the way that it portrays the Tiger family, especially Daniel's father.

In most television shows today, fathers are either entirely absent, or incompetent. The father is usually portrayed as a bumbling idiot and used for laughs, or he is a complete jerk. However, Daniel Tiger is different. In this kid show, the mother and father work together and play with their son. They make mistakes, and occasionally get upset with him, but they use themselves as examples of how to deal with the negative emotions.

For me, I find it the most realistic version of parenthood I have seen yet.

Don't get me wrong, I understand that many families are not the ideal. Many people struggle with situations they can't control, divorces are rampant, and there are many vile men and women who ruin their spouse's and their children's lives.

However, not everyone is like that. When we don't allow children to see the ideal, how can they strive for that?

This post isn't meant to make those who don't have the ideal feel bad. I really empathize, though I am amazed and in awe at how single parent's take care of their children all by themselves. They have my deepest respect. I don't know how you do it alone.

I was one of the lucky ones. I have a fantastic father and a marvelous mother. I never heard them fight, though they did disagree. They aren't perfect, but they do their best and they love each other and each of their children. My grandparents on both sides are also incredible people. They've both been married over 50 years.

I met a man at one point in my life who would believe that. When I told him how long my parents had been married, he told me that I couldn't possibly be telling the truth. Marriages only lasted ten years or less. When I then told him about my grandparents, he was literally stunned. I was just as shocked by his mindset. I didn't know how good I had it.

I am currently in a relationship with an phenomenal man: my husband, Grig. We disagree, but we don't fight. We have extremely good communication and are able to talk through things that are bothering us before it spirals out of control. I am so grateful for that. I hate confrontation, and though I can't always avoid that, I am so happy that we are able to work through it.

He is my everything, and so it hurts me when fathers are so poorly represented.

In the 1995 document, The Family: A Proclamation to the World, church leaders from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said the following:
THE FAMILY is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. Disability, death, or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. Extended families should lend support when needed.
I believe that this document was given from God. Fathers and mothers are necessary to achieve the ideal setting for raising children. Only working together as equal partners will allow them to achieve that setting.

The more that time goes on, the more it seems that the world is telling children how unnecessary fathers are. What do little boys have to look forward to, if all they see of fathers is idiocy? Why would they even want to become a parent?

So, Kevin can keep watching Daniel Tiger for as long as he wants to.

I kind of like it.
Kevin drew this picture of Daniel Tiger. I think it's amazing.

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