Daniel Tiger has a New App for Parents and it is Awesome
I was bored-browsing through the app store the other day, and Daniel Tiger’s face caught my eye.
I’ve downloaded multiple Daniel Tiger apps in the past, including “Day & Night” (about helping kids to get ready for bed and ready for school in the morning) and “Stop & Go” (for teaching kids about using the potty), so of course I was going to download whatever the hell this was. Then I saw the name and I did a little dance: “Daniel Tiger for Parents”!
(Side anecdote: for some reason, I can remind my child about listening to their body and using the potty regularly, to no effect, but when Daniel Tiger sings “when you have to go potty, STOP and go right away!” that works every time.)
My family loves Daniel Tiger (those songs have come in handy on so many occasions) because not only does it help my child to deal with the difficulty of everyday life, but it also helps me to be a calmer, more patient parent. (I’ve always been a little jealous of Daniel Tiger’s parents, to be honest. They always know the right thing to say. Daniel’s mom never tells him to just go away for a minute to let her cool down—she sings her little song and then she’s good.)
I’ve listened to a lot of the Daniel Tiger episodes, but there are so many songs to learn and remember. However, the great thing about this app is now you don’t have to remember the songs—you just have to remember to use the app when you’re in an I-Need-A-Daniel-Tiger-Song-For-This kind of situation.
In the app home tab, the songs are grouped into categories like “Feelings,” “Confidence,” Kindness,” and “New Experiences”. Or, if you know a specific song, you can click on the “Song List” tab to search. Clicking on a specific song gives you the option to add it to your favorites list, and it also brings up more options for how to use the song more effectively. There is also an option to hear the Spanish version of the songs and to take a picture of how you’ve used the song with your kid.
As an example, one of my favorite songs is “Saying ‘I’m sorry’ is the first step. Then, how can I help?” I love this song because it involves everyone in a situation to try to find a solution. Singing this song when I’m angry not only helps to cool me down but it also helps my child to find a way to fix the situation with me. Even though I know the song by heart, the benefit of using the app is that I have access to the full song video. There is also a “helpful hints” section with an explanation for parents to help see the kid’s point of view. For this song, one of the hints says, “Young children often don’t know how other people feel. Part of teaching them to apologize is helping them know what they did affects someone else.”
Another great thing about this app: it’s free and there’s no in-app purchases for you to worry about.
I have a lot of favorite songs—not just because of the lessons but also because of how they’ve helped me and my child to work through situations:
- “Different and the Same”: teaching about diversity
- “Going Potty”: teaching kids that they need to listen to their bodies and not wait to find the bathroom
- “Keep Trying”: teaching about valuing effort over perfection
- “Playing Together”: teaching kids to compromise and share
If you want to read more about the background of these Strategy Songs, check out Angela Santomero’s blog or the PBS Kids website.
Fred Rogers’ legacy is faithfully carried on by the staff of Daniel Tiger. If you want to read more quotes from the man himself, check out this website.
Daniel Tiger is my favorite children’s program. Caillou doesn’t do a good job of differentiating between pretend and real, Magic Schoolbus is woefully inaccurate often enough to drive me crazy, and My Little Pony never really has consequences for the bullies.
Daniel Tiger also shows people getting upset, and let’s everyone know that it’s ok that they’re upset. The episode with “When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath and count to four, 1 2 3 4”, they show the mom getting angry and needing to calm down, and they talk about how it is helpful to tell people you are angry and then calm down so you can figure out how to solve the problem.
Thanks for this heads up.