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decide to RISE

decide to RISE

Imagine a chubby little boy growing up in a time when not many people were overweight. Imagine being in constant poor health, shut away from your friends and peers, unable to run and play like other boys do. For many kids in this situation, being cut off from a normal childhood would result in mental trauma that would be impossible to overcome. But for Fred Rogers, it taught him how to be sensitive to the feelings of others. He rose above his difficult childhood and helped millions of children feel loved and wanted through his wonderful public television program, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.

Everybody loves an underdog, and the reason is simple. We are all underdogs at something. All children have something they struggle with, whether it is getting grades that match the impossible ideals of their parents, or sadly getting through the day without a proper lunch. Teaching kids how to rise up to a challenge and overcome it can be tricky, especially if that circumstance is extremely difficult, such as a severe disability.

Whether you are helping your child become the first college-bound kid in your family, or helping them learn to adjust to a world that was not designed for special needs, there is a lot you can do to help them face adversity and win.

don’t do everything for your child

This is a hard one, especially if you believe in the novelty of childhood. Many parents get into the habit of doing everything for their kids, partly so we can allow them to spend more time being a kid, and partly because we got into the habit of treating them as babies. Not to mention the frustration of having to be patient. It will take you about three seconds to make the bed for your toddler, and about thirty minutes if you let that toddler, “help.”

Studies show that doing chores is linked to success as an adult, and it’s easy to see why. Kids develop a sense of self-worth and accomplishment when they finish a task, and feel like a worthwhile part of the family when they can contribute. Even if they don’t necessarily want to do those chores, (Why do I have to pick up my toys? I’m just going to take them out to play with them again!) Never being asked to do so can result in developmental delay.

be prepared to step in and offer guidance

It’s one thing to let your child struggle a little bit in order to learn how to be more independent. It’s another to overwhelm your child with a difficult task and teach them to give up. If your child is really struggling to learn something new, such as tying their shoes or learning to read, a helping hand can give them the confidence to continue.

A helping hand doesn’t mean taking over, but offering suggestions. Show your child how to hold the laces, but don’t tie the shoe for them.

help them learn when to ask for help

Some tasks we can’t get done by ourselves. We can’t learn how to read unless someone else teaches us. Most of us aren’t qualified to stitch our own wounds or doctor our pets. Learning when we need the help of others is just as important as learning to be independent.

teach them to rise

Learning how to overcome difficulties is one of the most important life lessons we can teach our children. By teaching children to better themselves, we can make the world a better place. The world would not be the same if Mr. Rogers had not overcome his childhood to become who he was as an adult, and it won’t be the same without your child overcoming their own difficulties. Together, we can do it. Together we can decide to rise!

an inspirational legacy continues

Mr. Rogers has recently made a welcomed reemergence into today’s generation through documentaries and also a movie, “You Are My Friend,” in which Tom Hanks plays the legendary role. You can find many inspiring books about Fred Rogers to include, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King.

books to encourage our children that they can rise

Inspire your children to rise above challenges with these uplifting stories. Through characters who overcome obstacles, confront adversity, and find inner strength, these books teach young readers that they have the power to decide to rise above their circumstances.

coloring fun

Please enjoy this free Tot Tails coloring page to help share this message with your child.

Download PDF • 150KB

share with us

We would love to hear your experiences and advice on empowering little ones to persevere, fostering resilience, determination, and a growth mindset. Are there any books or resources you feel can help? Thanks so much for reading and feel free to comment.


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