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The Way Kids Really React to Daniel Tiger Songs, In GIFs

Aaaah, rain!
Photograph by Getty Images

Aaaah, rain!

I have a problem with Daniel Tiger.

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:

GIF by Giphy

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The song: "Try to solve the problem yourself and you'll feel proud!"

Daniel's reaction: "Brilliant idea, Mother! I can see that you are busy paying attention to my sibling. No worries. I can fix this problem on my own—and without any whining!"

You can imagine the feelings this song inspires in real-life preschoolers:

GIF by Disney Tumblr

The song: "It's almost time to stop, so choose one more thing to do! That was fun, but now it's done."

Katerina Kittycat's reaction: "That's really too bad that we have to leave. I was having so much fun. Oh well. There's always next time! Hooray for transitions!"

Yeah right. A real human child's reaction would look more like this:

GIF by Giphy

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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:

GIF by Giphy

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