Raising a toddler? 'Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood' is must-watch TV

Raising a toddler? 'Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood' is must-watch TV

Parenting

Raising a toddler? 'Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood' is must-watch TV

Journalist Joanna Allhands is the first one to admit that “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” “is nearly unwatchable for anyone over age 6.”

The PBS Kids show is “sappy and not at all funny,” says Allhands, azcentral’s digital opinions editor.

PBS Kids series ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.’ Credit: PBS

Thankfully, her 2-year-old boy can’t get enough of it, because every episode is designed to hold a toddler’s attention, she said, and teach a lesson using a song that is repeated over and over.

Joanna Allhands. Credit: Tom Tingle

Allhands and her boy were able to get through sticky situations using the show’s songs and lessons. Here’s how:

Even in a restaurant bathroom, Allhands recalls. “As I got our 2-year-old situated on the toilet, I began running through the song Daniel Tiger sings – ‘If you have to go potty, stop and go right away. Flush and wash and be on your way’ – because it helps him remember everything he needs to do in there.”

“Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live” is part of New Jersey Performing Arts Center’s 2017-18 season. Credit: John E. Kasko

It’s not magic, it’s science

In Allhands’ recent column about the show, an expert explains how Daniel Tiger and other characters use instruction, modeling, rehearsal and feedback to teach new skills and behaviors.

But, she points to a media study and notes, “Daniel Tiger can help quiet a toddler meltdown or help them try something new – but only if parents are actively involved in the watching and modeling its lessons in real life.”

My own son just turned 20, and although I’m sure he learned plenty of lessons from “Barney & Friends” and “Teletubbies,” now I wish he had grown up around Daniel Tiger. Maybe his kid will.

Watch a clip from ‘Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood’

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