The Mister Rogers Parenting Book: Helping to Understand Your Child
The Mister Rogers Parenting Book: Helping to Understand Your Child by Fred Rogers
I’ve always had a good impression of Mister Rogers, and I know he was well-regarded for his ability to understand and work with children, so when I saw this book at a book sale, I purchased it. I’m glad I did! This is a helpful and easy-to-use book. Each chapter focuses on a single topic and is only about four to six pages long. So, you can read the book all the way through, or you can read just the chapters you need. The most important parts are highlighted with larger print, and short examples are set aside in light blue boxes, so the information is broken up and easily accessible. And it’s good information too! The approaches Mister Rogers offers are gentle, but assertive. They are about guiding your child rather than dominating him or her.
Some of the chapters include:
Mealtime, Everyday Rules and Limits, Brothers and Sisters, Using the Toilet, The New Baby and Stepfamilies.
There is a good overview of the topics that parents need the most. The only thing I’d like to see more of is more information about consequences when the child doesn’t obey. The chapters focus on helping children adjust to these various situations, but there isn’t a whole lot about what to do if they misbehave. I suppose the point is, if you follow the ideas, hopefully children will be comfortable and well-adjusted, so bad behavior will be minimal 🙂
Some of the ideas I find the most helpful include: “Choose a few rules that matter most.” The idea is that it’s easier for a child to obey when they aren’t overwhelmed with rules. “When possible, offer choices.” This hint works because toddlers in particular want to feel like they have some independence in their lives so they don’t struggle against their parents’ choices. “Make sure your children have some time away from each other.” This helps children avoid resenting each other. There are many other practical ideas as well, but they all help you guide and discipline your child in a caring manner that helps your child learn to be thoughtful, caring and disciplined as well.