Wednesday, February 10, 2016

America turns to Mister Rogers in times of disturbance

It appears Americans seek Mister Rogers in times of turbulence and tragedy. HLN reports that mentions of "Mister Rogers" are up an astounding 7,000% since the double bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon.

America turns to Mister Rogers in times of disturbance

Fred Rogers, dead 10 years, is a viral darling - yet again. (AP Photo)
Fred Rogers, dead 10 years, is a viral darling - yet again. (AP Photo)

"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.' To this day, especially in times of 'disaster,' I remember my mother's words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers -- so many caring people in this world." – Mister Rogers

These wonderful, meaningful words were first shared in a syndicated 1986 newspaper column, and most recently resurrected on the original PBS Facebook page following the Sandy Hook tragedy.  Since then, the post including Fred Rogers’ words and an accompanying image of the comforting late figure laughing with a young child, has gone viral with close to 92,000 shares.

In the moments following the double explosion at the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon, one voice was sought out more than any other: The soothing words and familiar face of Mister Rogers. HLN reports that mentions of “Mister Rogers” are up an astounding 7,000% since the double bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon Monday afternoon.

And for the parents who still look for guidance on how to share “scary” news and field questions over these stories with their young children, Mister Rogers shares his words of wisdom in the video below. In it, he says, "What children probably need to hear most from us adults is that they can talk with us about anything, and we will do all we can do keep them safe, in any scary time."

Dr. Alan Hilfer, a director of psychology at Maimonides Medical Center, tells HealthDay that parents should project a calmer facade in response to tough news. " If their parents are frightened and anxious, the kids will be frightened and anxious," he says. "If the parents reassure the kids that this is something the police and federal authorities are looking into, and they'll figure out who did this and how to deal with it, kids will be less frightened." PBS also has a helpful a guide titled, “Helping Children with Scary News,” here.

Looking for the "helpers," after all, is sometimes just a click away.

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Esther Lee
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