Daniel Tiger and the Pope

My life is pretty busy at the moment. I work a full time job during the week, publish a daily blog, give s speech a week, study data science at night, and help my wife raise to amazing kids.

My oldest child finally got into TV. His favorite show is a PBS cartoon, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. He loves it. One of the first things he says when he comes downstairs in the morning is, “Tiger,” which stands for Daniel Tiger. This weekend we all watched enough Daniel Tiger. To the point where we started telling our son that Daniel Tiger isn’t on right now. 

That’s one of the differences I’ve noticed from my childhood to my kids. When I was a child a show wasn’t on 24/7 but now Netflix gives us access anytime, anywhere.

What’s my son’s next choice if Daniel Tiger is not on?

The Pope.

During the week the Pope visited the United States, I feel like you couldn’t turn the TV on with seeing something about the Pope. My son started saying, “Hi, Pope,” whenever he’d see him on TV. He even got to the point where he’d point to the TV and say, “Pope,” if the TV wasn’t on.

This weekend, his typical line he’d say to my wife and I when he wanted the TV on is, “Tiger… Pope,” while pointing at the TV.

Another surprising show my son loves, are old episodes of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. I forgot some of the great lessons this show teaches young children and it should remind adults of what’s important in life. Plus, it was produced in my hometown of Pittsburgh,PA and they show usually visits a local business or destination during each episode.  One of my favorite lessons is how Fred Rogers ended the show. 

You’ve made this day a special day by just your being you. There’s no person in the whole world like you. And I like you just the way you are.

– Fred Rogers

The first time I rewatched this show with my son this ending segment grabbed my attention. This is my goal of how to raise my own children. I want them to learn to be theirselves. We live in a world where many people want to be like everyone else because many places reward you for checking the box. The flipside is that now more than ever there is tremendous value and opportunity to being yourself. 

Similar to what Fred Rogers tells us, you are special. You can do things differently than others and that is what makes you special. No one can do things the way you do.

For more great quotes by Mr. Rogers go here.