Fred Rogers’ deep understanding of children was based on a lifetime of study in child development and years of communicating with children and parents. His whole-child approach was centered on the importance of social-emotional skills for success in school and in life. Over the years Fred wrote numerous articles focusing on the many concerns that families face. We hope that you will find these helpful to you. As Fred Rogers reminded us: ”Parents don’t come full bloom at the birth of the first baby. In fact parenting is about growing. It’s about our own growing as much as it is about our children’s growing and that kind of growing happens little by little”
Some adults create so much excitement about birthdays and holidays that children come to think of them as the most special days of the year. With a focus on family gatherings, presents, and parties, there’s a lot for children to look forward to and to fantasize about. It’s only natural that such heightened anticipation of birthdays and holidays might lead to expectations that can never be met. Continue.
Even though your child may have been going to the doctor since birth, and even though you have a caring doctor, there may come a time when a check-up becomes particularly upsetting. As children grow physically, they’re also growing in awareness of their own bodies and their ability to remember painful past experiences. Continue.
Some families use rituals and routines to help smooth transitions. Some have special ways of saying goodbye with certain “secret” family words, gestures or hugs. When “goodbye” gets to mean “I’ll be back later,” it becomes a much better word. Continue.
Almost everyone gets angry sometimes. That’s just part of being human, whether you’re a grownup or child. But we have to learn what to do with the mad that we feel, and that’s a long, hard process. It happens little by little. In fact, it’s something we work on all through our lives. Continue.
Young children have much to learn about sharing toys and sharing ideas, and that kind of learning happens over a long period of time. It takes years for young children to begin to see things from someone else’s point of view, and to learn about managing all those complicated feelings, such as anger, love, disappointment, frustration, and jealousy. Continue.
Fred Rogers helped us understand that there are many ways to help children develop a sense of confidence – and one of those ways is allowing children to make choices. When young children are given opportunities for thoughtful decision-making they’re better able to make all kinds of choices throughout their lives – from what to wear to which candidate to vote for. Continue.
What we can’t always see in a child’s gift is all that went into making it. In fact, for young children, making something is usually far more important than the product itself. Continue.
Parents often worry when their children don’t share – whether they don’t want to share a parent’s attention with someone else or a toy with another child. But sharing is hard for most children. That doesn’t mean they are selfish. It just means that it takes a long while to be able to share. Continue.
There’s a lot of hard work involved in learning to use the toilet. Children have to learn to control their muscles, to hold on or let go at just the right time. They have to stop doing something they really like and go right away to the bathroom. Continue.
Fred Rogers reminded us that when children see their parents and caregivers wonder about the things in the world, ask questions, notice things, look carefully and try to figure things out, then they’ll want to be curious about the world around them, too. Continue.
Children enjoy sharing with you their big talents and accomplishments, like being excited about being able to catch a ball or read a book themselves, but they also benefit when they know you care about their little talents — when they want to share with you a song they’ve just learned or a delight in a simple pleasure. Continue.