Image of the Neighborhood Trolley from Mr. Rogers

What Would Mr. Rogers Say?

I strive to empower my children to be good people, do right in the world, to actively participate, be positive, not to sweat the small stuff, and focus their energy on meaningful work. However, the last several months, and in more recent days, I have found myself drowning in conversations on current (difficult) events in the news that my information professional brain struggles to articulate in words to my impressionable adolescents. Not quite knowing where to start, I called on our Early Literacy and Outreach Librarian, Jerissa, who is knowledgeable in parenting resources.

“Have you tried the Fred Rogers Center?” Jerissa asked.

B&W Photo of Fred RogersMr. Rogers! Of course! How could I not consider that?! Together Jerissa and I cruised through fredrogerscenter.org to uncover a timely resource “Talking with Children about Difficult Things in the News.” In this one page resource, I am reminded in my widowed parenthood that “even when you are overwhelmed, unsure of what to say, or are struggling, you are just what the child in your life needs and you are enough.”

You are enough. Parents balancing work, school, finances, custody schedules, and/or personal strife… you are enough. The Fred Rogers Center suggests you tell your children you will “always care for them and love them, no matter what.” When you don’t know the answer to a difficult question, especially pertaining to recent events, it’s okay to say you do not know and work together to learn more. Ask your child how they are feeling and listen. We are reminded by Fred Rogers that “listening to a child’s feelings around uncertainty can help them feel safe.”

Listen. You are enough.

The L.E. Phillips Public Library and Family Resource Center have partnered with Mayo Clinic and UW-Extension to offer Positive Parenting Programs (Triple P). January through March programs being offered include The Power of Positive Parenting; Raising Confident, Competent Children; and Raising Resilient Children. More information can be found here.

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