Mr. Roger's Neighborhood

Mr. Roger's Neighborhood

My best plan for making the world better continues to be finding a way to broadcast this show into the home of every child. Here, Fred Rogers spends a few minutes explaining the show:

and you can watch free rotating episodes here:

Recently a fb friend of mine posted about her experience with his show as an adult through the lens of “Secure Attachment”:

Mr. Rogers = if Secure Attachment could be transmitted through a TV, this would be the way. He *slowed down* to the speed appropriate for a kid's nervous system, made eye contact, and smiled warmly, while communicating:

  • I like you, just for being you. You don't have to DO anything, and I like you for more than any superficial qualities. Just for being you.
  • I think about you when I'm not here.
  • I'm coming back tomorrow (or at the end of the weekend). I'll let you know when I'm going and coming.
  • You are special and I'm happy to just be with you.

Rewatching episodes with my adult brain perceiving the secure attachment messages, and my inner child's slower nervous system being attended to... my sleep app is showing my sleep efficiency is in the 90th % every night. I watch 2 episodes before going to bed during my nighttime routine, and listen to one as I'm going to sleep. Last night, my sleep app said my sleep efficiency was 100%! It never hit above 76% before watching Mr. Rogers.

I'll put a link to watch free, rotating episodes in the first comments.

Amazon Prime also has some seasons for free, and some for sale. There's also been several phenomenal documentaries (Thanks for letting me know how good they were, Ian, and re-sparking my interest!) giving some fantastic context to his work that I never knew, like… this show was Mr. Rogers' ministry, and he wanted it to have zero god-talk to he could reach as many folks as possible. His wife said that he really was Daniel (the more insecure puppet), but as time progressed, and he became more worried for kids in our culture, he became more fierce like the King Friday puppet, in his fighting for kids to have a slow space to talk about their feelings.

Other lessons he communicated:

  • It's normal to feel all the feelings AND talk about them.
  • Just because good people think, say, wish or sometimes do bad things, it doesn't make them bad.
  • It's good to care for and be a part of a community.
  • When someone has a need for X, giving them some additional Y (which might be even more attuned to their emotional needs) might have them feel really loved.
  • It's important to set and hold boundaries, AND communicate our care about the people in our community who are breaking the rules.
  • "When your heart can cry another's sadness, or sing another's gladness, then your heart is full of love."
  • “Peace” [AKA secure attachment] “is wonnnnderful. It sounds like a piece of bread or a piece of paper, but it's so much more than a piece of anything. This kind of peace is something verrrry comfortable. When you have it, you feel inside yourself that the people you live with care about you, and you care about them, too. And what's more, you care about yourself, too! Even when you're trying to grow bigger, you care about yourself. Peace means you can talk with people and tell them you're happy, or sad, or angry, or anything, and they'll understand. And they'll tell you how they feel, too. You and I often have that kind of peace together, don't we? That's why I like to think about you, think about being with you."

If you decide to go back and explore it as an adult, I hope you enjoy!

See also: