Fred Rogers was not only a wise man, he was a force for good. Through the 895 episodes of his television show on PBS, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, he taught children of all ages about loving and being kind to themselves and to others.
In honor of his birthday on March 20, 1928, here are wonderful quotes from Mister Rogers for parents. Some from his book, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember.
On what our children of all ages, and all human beings, need:
Whether we’re a preschooler or a young teen, a graduating college senior or a retired person, we human beings all want to know that we’re acceptable, that our being alive somehow makes a difference in the lives of others.
On how we all matter and how every interaction is a chance to do good:
If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.
On the children who grew up watching his show who are now adults:
… I would like to tell you what I often told you when you were much younger. I like you just the way you are. And what’s more, I’m so grateful to you for helping the children in your life to know that you’ll do everything you can to keep them safe. And to help them express their feelings in ways that will bring healing in many different neighborhoods. Its such a good feeling to know that we’re lifelong friends.
On what to look for in times of trouble:
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’
Speaking of the helpers:
Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me.
On responsibility and helping:
We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say, ‘It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.’ Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.
On the importance of talking about our feelings:
Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we are not alone.
On standing by our kids and loved ones:
It always helps to have people we love beside us when we have to do difficult things in life.
On beginnings and endings:
Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.
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