Why Daniel Tiger Is the Life Coach Your Preschooler Needs


Being a parent is hard, and although some people think the newborn phase with those sleepless nights can be the most difficult, I would argue that it’s much harder raising a toddler or a preschooler. These little folks have so much energy and such big emotions. It can sometimes be hard for parents to know how to help these little ones handle their emotions appropriately. You haven’t been a parent until your child has had a meltdown in the toy section of Target, after all.

There may not be a rulebook for how to be a parent, but if you’re looking for a life coach that disguises itself in the form an entertaining TV show, look no further than the PBS Kids show “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.”

Chances are that you were a child when Fred Rogers hosted his popular show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” The show taught life lessons in a way that kids could relate to and understand. One popular character on this show “in the land of make-believe” was Daniel Striped Tiger.

Although “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood stopped filming new episodes in 2001, it has been reinvented for the next generation in the form of a popular cartoon called “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” If you haven’t heard of the show, the main character is Daniel Tiger, a preschool-aged tiger, the son of Daniel Striped Tiger from the show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood; although, Daniel Striped Tiger is now referred to as “Dad.”

There are many differences between this new show and the classic you grew up with, but one thing remains the same: the life lessons. Every episode includes Daniel interacting with his family and his friends. Along the way, one of the characters (often Daniel) experiences a situation that creates the opportunity to learn a lesson, and all of these lessons are taught through catchy songs that stick in your head in a good way.

“Grrr, grrr, grrr out of loud. Keep on trying, and you’ll feel proud.”

This is just one example of the catchy lyrics used to help young children remember how to cope with feelings like anger, sadness, jealousy, and in this case, frustration when you have trouble learning to do something (in the case of this particular ditty, Daniel was learning to ride a bike).

My children aren’t the only ones learning life lessons from the show. No one is too old to learn easy techniques for managing emotions like anger through songs with catchy lyrics.

“When you get so angry that you want to roar, take a deep breath, and count to four.”

See for yourself how entertaining and catchy such lyrics can be in the short clip below.

As a parent, I find the show relaxing. It’s not obnoxious like many kids shows out there. Kids love the show too. As soon as an episode ends, my kids ask to watch another one, and when they do, I hear them singing along to the songs, which are super easy to learn.

I highly suggest watching the show with your kids. As already mentioned, many of life lessons are helpful at any age, but it’s also helpful to refer back to them when your child is experiencing as issue talked about on the show. For example, when you tell your preschooler it’s time to go potty, but he or she doesn’t want to stop playing, you can remind him or her about the Daniel Tiger episode where Daniel didn’t want to stop playing when he needed to go potty, and then sing the song Daniel learned “If you have to go potty, stop and go right away…”

There’s seriously an episode for almost every situation your young child will encounter.

Do you watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood with your kids? What’s your favorite song from the show?