Updated: Apr 9, 2021
If ever the day came when we were able to accept ourselves and our children exactly as we and they are, then, I believe, we would have come very close to an ultimate understanding of what “good” parenting means. It’s part of being human to fall short of that total acceptance - and often far short. But one of the most important gifts a parent can give a child is the gift of accepting that child’s uniqueness.
The World According to Mister Rogers
While parenting, sometimes we get caught up in making sure our children behave, follow the rules, and no fuss, especially in public. But just as we recall that each of us as adults is unique, remember too that children have entire unparalleled personalities, and accepting their natural tendencies goes a long way in building their self-confidence. When showing them boundaries, we have to make sure we don’t hurt the nature of their essence. That essence, the definitive spark growing inside them that will make them outgoing or introspective or funny, is still hidden even from them, and discovering it and delighting in it is a very important part of parenting. Remember to always take time to enjoy your child, to do what they want to do even for a few minutes, and to praise what they worked hard to do, even if it’s messy.
Fred Rogers, known as “America’s Favorite Neighbor,” dedicated his life to serving children through public television as the creator, composer, and host of Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. His relentless commitment to facilitating and bringing forth all that is best in people led to an astonishing array of honors from TV Hall of Fame to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He passed away in February 2003 but his message of love and acceptance will be remembered by generations.