Mr. Rogers
Michael Ellis

When my son was born 17 years ago one thing his mother and I decided early on was to not allow television in the house. We had a TV but only for watching videos. I have never once regretted that decision. But as all parents of young children know sometimes you just gotta have a break. So we had a half dozen shows of Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. In desperation we would put on one of these tapes just to have 30 minutes to wash the dishes, hang up clothes, vacuum or just collapse into a much needed nap.

The poor kid must have watched these same tapes quite a few times.

When he was nine years old his mother and I began the process of separating. Our major concern was helping our young son deal with this major change in his life. Many children feel somehow they are to blame for their parent’s problems. So we sat down with him to explain the whole thing, wanting to reassure him of his faultlessness. Before we can get too far, he blurts out “– yes, yes I know! Mr. Rogers told me that it is not my fault that these things between parents just happen.”

OK fine then. But after a couple of weeks I sit him down to revisit the subject wanting him to understand it has nothing to do with him. “Dad..” he groans “I already told you Mr. Rogers said it wasn’t my fault.”

About six months later I tried one more time and he responded with the same exasperation with his clueless dad. Sorry, sorry I brought it up again.

But I really want to thank Mr. Rogers for that episode on divorce and at least for this one little boy, it made a huge difference in coping with a momentous change in his young life. At least so far, when he gets in therapy later then we shall see. But this is my little story and I know there are a thousand more about this kind and generous man, who was everything he appeared to be in real life. We miss you Mr. Rogers………

This is Michael Ellis with a Perspective.



Posted on

November 8, 2010