If ever there is a book for parents that needs to go back into print, it’s this one (available at exorbitant prices). I am now a grandmother and also write for children, so am reading this book with great appreciation. This is as thoughtful, and full of common sense and invaluable knowledge as a parent could want or need. I don’t understand why it ever went OUT of print!
Several reviewers on Goodreads commented that there are parts which are “outdated” and gave it a 4-star review for that reason. I wholeheartedly disagree! The nature of being a child doesn’t change—the world they live in and how adults approach parenting is what changes. In my opinion, the wisdom contained in this book is timeless—as relevant today as it was when, and before, the book was written.
And while I’m at it, I feel the need to mention something in Fred Rogers‘ defense:
He has been unjustly blamed for the fruition of a largely “entitled” generation. When Fred Rogers expressed to children “you are special just as you are,” he was most definitely not saying “you are more special than everyone else” or “you don’t need to do anything to reap rewards;” he touted nothing of the sort. His many years in television and all things related to children were done specifically to benefit and care for children’s well-being. He was doing what he could to instill good self-esteem, and validation for their feelings and who they were as individuals—something good teachers and parents still (and should continue to) emphasize.
The generation/s of “entitled” individuals stemmed, not from Mr. Rogers, but from psychologists who proclaimed that reprimanding children was detrimental, and encouraged superfluous praise to build self-esteem. In turn there were many parents who not only took this advice to heart, but often times to an extreme by not disciplining a child when necessary and garnishing excessive praise whether or not it was warranted. That, along with a parent or caregiver’s belief or need to be a “pal” instead of a “disciplinary parent,” (parents can be both), and over-protecting them from the world’s harsh realities is what led to a noticeable increase in an entitled mentality and inability to cope.
Everything Fred Rogers offered to children was to help them achieve the polar opposite–to become balanced, confident, happy people, comfortable in their own skin “as they are,” to live their lives knowing that their feelings mattered, and to become members of society who positively contribute to their families and communities. He also offered to adults his knowledge and wisdom in order to help children do just that through TV specials and books like this one.
Mister Rogers Talks with Parents is a gem of which—if it were still available—belongs on bookshelves in every home and public library. It became a part of mine, as a birthday present, thanks to my boyfriend, Mark (and Etsy!), 😃😎❤🧡💛💚💙💜❣
And I’m very curious to hear your opinions on this subject matter…