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Be our neighbor

I grew up with him and maybe you did too. Mr. Rogers, a television celebrity in my day, welcomed us into his neighborhood during the weekdays. His children’s program focused on the early years, teaching children about how to deal with big emotions and difficult situations.

Mr. Rogers’ calm demeanor was kind, caring and compassionate…a spirit we should all embrace. As we embark on a new year with new goals, let’s all be a Mr. Rogers in our actions and attitude. Here are some lessons we can learn from his way of thinking.

“I don’t think anyone can grow unless he’s loved exactly as he is now, appreciated for what he is rather than what he will be.”

Simply put, love children as they are, where they are. Focus on the here and now, and build early childhood opportunities around current abilities and interest.

“All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we’re giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world.”

Sometimes it is difficult that your child may need extra help. Be their advocate…be their voice.

“Real strength has to do with helping others.”

I believe we must all help others. No small deed goes unnoticed. This could be by serving on a local board, mentoring a child or helping a family in need.

“We all have different gifts, so we all have different ways of saying to the world who we are.”

Invest time in understanding your child’s unique abilities. Do they have unique talents or things they are interested in? There is no such thing as a disability, only ABILITY.

“Children’s play is not just kids’ stuff. Children’s play is rather the stuff of most future inventions.” Free play for children gives them the free choice to build and create without limitations.

“Mutual caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other’s achievements, confidence in oneself and the ability to give without undue thought of gain.”

Perhaps the ultimate guide to parenting and being a model citizen, what if we all strive to embody these values each and every day?

“Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.”

Changing our own mental health and the mental health of others begins with just one kind word, one simple action or one embrace each day. Together, we can change the world.

In a world that needs a little more love, come be our neighbor. Let’s impact real change together.

——

Kube is a director for the Iowa River

Valley Early Childhood Area Board.

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