In the hours after the tragic shooting in Newtown, as parents and children struggled to comprehend the horror, a familiar voice emerged, one uniquely situated to address audiences of all ages: Mister Rogers.
“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,'" Fred Rogers wrote in the Mister Rogers Parenting Book.
He continued: "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."
Given its renewed relevance after the shootings, that message spread with urgency online along with the above video which includes Rogers's practical advice for parents dealing scary events in the news.
At the Fred Rogers Company website, experts offer additional guidance for moms and dads. Their "helpful hints" include:
- Do your best to keep the television off, or at least limit how much your child sees of any news event.
- Try to keep yourself calm. Your presence can help your child feel more secure.
- Give your child extra comfort and physical affection, like hugs or snuggling up together with a favorite book. Physical comfort goes a long way towards providing inner security. That closeness can nourish you, too.
And, if you would like to be a "helper" yourself, visit HuffPost Impact's list of Newtown-related charities.