If you grew up in the '80s, like I did, we probably had the same lovable, beloved neighbor — Mr. Rogers. Beyond his world of make-believe and story-telling, he taught me that I was special just the way I was. Now that I'm an adult and a parent,myself, I love sharing episodes of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood with my kids. I've also found that so many Mr. Rogers' quotes are perfect for parenting.
From simple truth bombs about kindness, love, and helping others, to messages about being yourself and learning to forgive yourself when you don't win or aren't "perfect" all of the time, Fred Rogers was amazing at translating the best parts of the human experience into words children could understand. And the show wasn't just for kids, either, but for their parents, too. On Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, he took us on adventures, teaching us not only about the world around us but about the person inside each and every one of us. No matter where Trolley took us, Rogers never stopped reminding us that our feelings were important and part of what made us who we were — someone he liked, no matter what.
It's so important that we, as parents, learn to let go of unreachable goals, love ourselves, and understand that it's OK to make mistakes. It's also important that we recognize that our kids aren't perfect either, but their imperfections don't keep them from being special. Rogers also taught us that it's important to play pretend, and we should definitely give our kids permission to use their imaginations every single day. Above all else, we should teach our kids to be kind — to others, to the people in their neighborhood, and to the world.
For more words of wisdom from Fred Rogers about being a good neighbor that might just make you a better parent, too, read on: