(Ep. 3) Motion Pictures Meets Reality: Learning the Art of Slowing Down from Mr. Rogers

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood for Kim Sewell (PK4), Andrea Stallings (ECC Instructional Assistant), and Ruth Fletcher (Little Chapel) to delve deep with their educator and Momma hats into all things Mr. Rogers.  In their honest conversation, it becomes clear that the recent resurgence of interest around the show and man behind Mr. Rogers Neighborhood reflects some deep societal needs for connection, pausing, and emotional exploration.  Enjoy! 

2:35-4:13:  Ruth and Andrea discuss two very different vantage points on the impact of television on the lives of young children; should we be hopeful about its ability to foster play and creativity, or should we be concerned about its impact? 

4:14-5:50:  What provoked Mr. Rogers to utilize TV as a medium, and a peek into Kim’s evolution as a parent. 

5:55- 7:00:  The shows our guests’ children enjoyed when they were young, and their own personal early childhood relationship with Mr. Rogers Neighborhood growing up.

7:01-8:06: Why watching paint dry can be entertaining: the power of meditative television.

8:23-10:24: The “other type” of children’s show, and what chaotic or subversive television reveals about the intersection of consumerism and the world of TV, particularly in today’s streaming environment.

10:25-12:45: Wisdom for current parents of littles: watch what they watch, and turn on your “icky” meter.

12:46-13:47: How our guests feel that adult cartoons and marvel movies have impacted young people.  

13:48-16:09: On the other hand, the good old days weren’t so perfect: reflections on Bugs Bunny and nursery rhymes and the importance of differentiating reality and imagination for youth.

16:13-17:50: What imagination as a coping mechanism looks like in a PK4 classroom.

17:51-20:42: Why the first thing Ruth’s 1st-4th graders are asked to do when they enter the classroom gives us hope that slower, more deliberate programming can still entertain children; also, Bluey might be the new Mr. Rogers.

20:45-23:25: Tools we can practice as parents of young children after a busy day to help us “live much fuller lives”; “I think that’s the whole point: we all need to slow down.”   

23:26- 24:15: The role grandparents can play in slowing us all down, and why we need to better connect across generations.

24:20-25:53: The guests confront accusations that Mr. Rogers’ message resulted in an entitled generation: “Loving yourself and entitlement are two completely different things . . . you can’t go wrong letting people know how much they’re loved.”

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