I have worked with PBS Kids for a long time. My kid is almost 12, so we are pretty much at the age of graduating out of their demographic, but here is the thing. Dex still loves watching their shows, and so do I. We also have our best friends’ son who is six, and just the other night he and I watched Peg + Cat together and giggled our booties off. PBS Kids is eternal.
I was lucky enough to become friends with and also work with the executive producer of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Angela Santomero before the show launched. I was there with her and my fellow PBS Kids ambassadors at the PBS Annual Meeting when the show was introduced to all the local stations, with an amazing mix of nostalgia for Mister Rogers and excitement for the future of his messages.
But now, the coolest thing ever!
There is a new chapter for Daniel, arriving on August 18th:
A BABY SISTER NAMED MARGARET!
I received a screener of the episode and, of course, it made me cry.
Even though we are a one-kid-household, I can imagine the uproar that a second child brings to a family. While it’s obviously not the same – the best friends I mentioned above are family to us, so when their son came, it was a period of adjustment for us all too. Our children act like brothers, although they do have a 5.5 year age different between them. We just recently went away together and they argued like siblings, and they snuggled like them too. It’s wonderful.
Angela and PBS Kids passed along some tips to help an older sibling adjust to the addition of a child to your family, and I think they are great.
- Don’t Spill the Beans too Soon – While it’s always helpful to prepare your preschooler about what to expect and talk with them about new experiences, young children don’t understand time the way adults do. Since it can be difficult for them to wait for events happening many months in the future, try to wait as long as possible to tell your child about the new baby.
- Discuss What to Expect When You’re Expecting – Talk with your child about what to expect from newborns – they sleep a lot, cry, and can’t play games or talk (at least not the same way as your preschooler can)! If you know a family or friend with a new baby, make a brief visit so your child can see firsthand what an infant can and can’t yet do.
- Crown Your New “Big Helper” – Involve your child in caring for their new sibling right from the start. Encourage them to pick out items for the baby’s room, get the diapers when it’s changing time, and sing or talk to the baby. Giving them specific ways to lend a hand helps preschoolers feel needed and more grownup.
- Make “Mommy/Daddy & Me Time” – When the baby arrives, set aside “just you and me” times with your older child. Whether it’s a trip to the library or simply reading a story together before bed, it’s important to make sure your older child doesn’t feel left out.
- Let Them Know How Proud You Are – Help your child to feel proud about being the older brother or sister by showing your appreciation for all the things they can do that the new baby can’t yet accomplish such as using their words. Reinforce your older child’s role in the family as the big brother or sister to the new baby.
On top of the exiting news for Daniel’s family, PBS Kids (some of the best app makers out there, in my opinion) have a new (free!) one called “Daniel Tiger’s Grr-ific Feelings” for iPad. As the name implies, it is all about kids exploring their feelings and finding ways to express them.
- Trolley Game – Drive the trolley to discover more than a dozen mini-games about feelings.
- Sing-Along – Choose from 18 of your favorite Daniel Tiger songs, each one fully animated.
- Drawing Easel – Use paints, crayons, stickers, and more to express yourself.
- Feelings Photo Booth – Take pictures of yourself that show lots of different feelings. Daniel will help you pose!
Yeah, so pretty much everything is coming up Daniel and that’s OK with us.
Be sure to check your local listings for the right time, but join us to celebrate Daniel’s little sister on Monday, August 18th!