Lessons from Daniel Tiger

I do not often take advice from my daughters’ favorite television programs. Had I never seen Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, I would have said, “I do not take advice from my daughters’ favorite television programs.” However, one episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood has taught me something all dads could use. I’ll pause for a brief moment of laughter…

Now that we’re back on point, the wisdom from the Neighborhood is to turn something bad into something good. I believe the actual line was, “When something seems bad, turn it around, and find something good.” I’m writing about this today because the Bible addresses complaining. For example, Philippians 2:14 tells us to do all things without murmurings and disputings. It has been my experience that when these things happen, I sometimes get angry. I do not believe I am alone, which is why I bring up Ephesians 4:31 and Colossians 3:8. Those scriptures advise us to put off things like anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy and filthy communication.

Here’s what I’m getting at, dads. Not every so-called life event will be good. For lack of a better cliché, it’s not a matter of if, but when something bad happens. The trick is to turn something bad into something good. Otherwise, we’re just going to be doing the same thing over and over again. Think about it. Paul was inspired to write Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians 2,000 years ago.

Call me crazy, but we still complain, and we still get mad. Here is what I suggest:

• When your car fails (and it will), thank God for the times it worked properly
• If your job does not always meet your expectations (and it won’t), thank God for the things your job provides
• If you get sick, praise God for your health during other times of your life
• When your wife (in your eyes) nags you about something, imagine how lonely you would be without her. Then, thank God for your wife
• If you are living on a ramen noodle budget (and you sometimes will), praise God for inspiring ramen noodles, while thanking Him for the times you had money for filet mignon

These are but a few examples, but the idea here is to praise or thank God when things go wrong. On occasion, we may slip and let out a complaint or three. Still, I think this could curb the number of overall complaints from this post forward. If we aim for nothing, we will hit it every time.

What do you say, dads?

Chris Woodward

Assistant Editor, One Million Dads
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