Don't get me wrong: Daniel is no Caillou. Nonetheless, the Daniel Tiger cartoon sets some pretty unreasonable expectations about toddler and preschooler behavior. When I try to apply the show's songs and lessons to my 4-year-old, his reactions are nothing like the reactions of his favorite placid, rational tiger.
The song: "Think about what you're gonna do, and choose the clothes that are right for you!"
Daniel's reaction: "Awesome! Of course I'll wear pajamas to bed! And a winter coat outside in the snow? Clothes on before my friend comes over to play? Why yes, good parent! That sounds perfectly reasonable!"
And yet when I try to sing this very song to my preschool-aged child:
The song: "Most problems can be solved when you use your words, so use your words and say how you feel!"
Daniel's reaction: "Oh Mom, you always have the best ideas. Allow me to explain my position calmly and articulate my feelings in a way that neither hurts Miss Elaina nor obscures my own deeply felt emotions. Learning how to deliberate is so easy!"
But I'm pretty sure that real preschoolers' reaction to this song can be summed up accordingly: