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Frustrated? Watch the Film "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood"

Why I chose to discuss this film

In current times, many folks of all ages are experiencing angst, which can lead to addictions, unhelathy habits, conflicts, and even violence. The biopic (dramatizing the life of a historic/non-fictional persn) film, "A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood" offers life lessons on managing our feelings.

Kindness and Empathy in Divisive Times

Starring Tom Hanks, this feature film dramatazation is practically guaranteed to bring down your blood pressure. If you don't have access to the film, listen to the songs from the film, free on Spotify, or play the songs from the film on other music apps, or watch the Trailer, or watch the original documentary , Won't You Be My Neighbor Trailer, starring chidren's television entertainer Fred Rogers, himself.

Fred McFeely Rogers was an American television host, author, producer, and Presbyterian minister. He was the creator, showrunner, and host of the preschool television series Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which ran from 1968 to 2001. Source: Wikipedia

Why this film might appeal to older adults

If you are an older adult like me (primarily members of the silent or boomer generation), you may not have been brought up to express your feelings. Our adult children are much better than we were to prioritize the importance of expressing their feelings and accepting/listening to/teaching their children to express their feelings. Fred Rogers was a master at demonstrating, through his television show, the importance of expressing one's feelings and listening to the feelings of others.

Why this film could build intergenerational relationships

The film is appropriate for 10+ (say the children) or 12+ (say the adults) on Common Sense Media., where you can also find the synopsis and movie reviews. as well as the following things you can talk to your kids [or grandkids] about:

  • Families can talk about Mister Rogers' messages in A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. What did he teach Lloyd? How did Lloyd change thanks to his friendship with Fred?

  • What does Rogers mean by the idea that "anything human is mentionable, and anything mentionable is manageable"? How can viewers apply that idea in their own lives?

  • Why is Rogers such a beloved role model? How did he show and inspire empathy, compassion, gratitude, and basically all of the character strengths?

  • What current shows continue to educate and inspire the lessons and values that Rogers worked to instill in children?

Follw-up intergenrational activities

Follow-up activities are endless. Teacherspayteachers lists several guides, under "beautiful day in the neighborhood, " for all grade levels, including adults.

There are also three poetry books by Luke Flowers that adults and children could read together:

and several free YouTube videos, such as the following, that adults and children could view and discuss together:

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Spending Time with Super Daniel and Super Dad.

Mr. Rogers composed many songs that are easy to learn and recite for both adults and children, such as the following:

Mr. Rogers quotes, Most Inspiring Mister Rogers Quotes for Helpers can be a basis for discussion.

Techniques Mister Roberts used to help individuals of all ages express their feelings:

  1. It's okay to feel whatever it is that we feel.

  2. But our feelings aren't an excuse for bad behavior.

  3. Other people are different from us and just as complex as we are

  4. It's our responsibility to care for the most vulnerable

  5. We can work to make a different right were we are

  6. It's important to make time to care for ourselves

  7. We are neighbors

Source: Greater Good Magazine: Seven Lessons from Mister Rogers

That Can Help Americans Be Neighbors Again, by Shea Tuttle, July 13, 2018


Whether we are old or young or in-between, watching Mr. Rogers films and free YouTube videos or trailers, listening to and singing/playing his music, and following up with conversation and activities can help us be better people.

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