How ‘Daniel Tiger’ Made This Election a Little Bit Better

How Daniel Tiger Made It All Better
image source: Nakalan McKay Photography

Editor’s Note: The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not represent the views of Babble.

Like many people across this country, I woke up in a bit of a fog this morning, wondering if I had really just dreamed it all. Did what I saw on my TV last night actually happen? Was Donald Trump really elected the 45th president of the United States?

As my babies (a 4-year-old daughter, 2-year-old son, and 5-month-old baby girl) all climbed into our bed this morning, I found myself grateful that they are too young to require much explanation regarding politics. My daughter did ask who won, since she had seen a bit of the election coverage on TV before bedtime, but thankfully accepted my answer without further question.

After a bit of snuggling, I turned on the TV for them — since I wasn’t ready to get up and face the day just yet. It was about 8 AM, which meant Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood was on. My bigger kids nestled under the blankets while I nursed my littlest without paying much attention. The familiar neighborhood voices filled the room, when suddenly a song I had heard many times before took on a whole new meaning.

If you are familiar with Daniel Tiger, then you know it’s filled with wonderful songs that focus on various life lessons in an effort to promote social and emotional skills for little ones. This particular morning, the song was about sadness and the words were so perfect that I couldn’t help but wonder if PBS had scheduled this particular episode intentionally.

“It’s okay to feel sad sometimes.
Little by little you’ll feel better again.”

The words felt like a salve for the raw emotions that so many people were feeling. It was a comfort at a time filled with uncertainty. And it was also an important reminder to not sit around slinging arrows at one another, or wallowing in the fact that we aren’t in an ideal situation.

It was a reminder that it’s okay to feel all the feelings right now, but the sun will still rise tomorrow and when it does it will be our job to get back to the fundamentals of what we teach our kids: kindness, empathy, and love for others. We will teach them about what it looks like to have integrity and to stand up for others. It was a reminder that despite our disenchantment with certain government leaders, it is not their job to shape our children, but ours. We must show them through our words and actions, every day, that we can be the change we wish to see in our country.

It’s okay to feel sad friends. It’ll get better.

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