Life’s Clues With Angela Santomero- Being seen and heard is important. For many children, being seen and heard helps them develop into the amazing adults they were intended to become. Sometimes as adults, we need to be seen and heard. Creator of the Emmy Award-winning shows Blue’s Clues and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Angela Santomero has spent years making sure each and every person has the opportunity to be seen and heard. Her new book, Life’s Clues: Unlocking the Lessons to an Exceptional Life is for adults! Let’s discover Angela, her new book and how we can unlock these clues to an exceptional life as adults, by paying attention to things kids do!

1. Tell us about Fred Rogers legacy he left the world and how you have so magically continued it, inspiring families of this generation.

I am so honored to be promoting Fred’s legacy of the importance of respecting kids, letting them learn through play, and to be able to label and express their emotions.  I love being able to continue his curriculum through Daniel Tiger in his own sweet, curious and kind way! 

2. You are the mastermind behind Blue’s Clues and Daniel Tiger’ Neighborhood. How do you balance the innocence of children with the brilliance of imagination and learning?

Thank you for saying that!  I believe so much in how brilliant kids are so balancing how they learn. An example is through play and imagination with storytelling is the “secret sauce” of Daniel Tiger.  As a child development specialist, I respect how to answer the questions kids have – -in a respectful, smart, and solution-oriented way.  This approach keeps them being kids and also enhances their growth!  

3.Tell us about the power of empathy

Empathy is a muscle that we need to work. The more we practice empathy by thinking about someone else’s plight, the more we can see the world through their eyes.  To me, empathy is the key to our own joy and happiness – – because we can start to truly understand and respect each other.  

4.What inspired you to write Life Clues?

I’ve kept a “handy dandy notebook” of all of the favorite life lessons I’ve taught to kids over the years.  I’ve found that these life lessons are tools that we, as adults, need in our tool kit, too!  The idea that we can have more joy by becoming more child-like in our approach to life is so meaningful to me! It gives us a good reason to be playful, imaginative, and curious. 

5.How can parents design a family driven by empathy and confidence? 

The most important and potentially simplest way to do this is by modeling empathy. Good self worth and confidence in ourselves and others around us.  Kids learn the most by watching us, the people they love, do what we do every day.  

6. What is radical kindness?

Radical Kindness is the idea that there is a difference between being nice and kind.  Being kind is ‘the what’ we put out in the world. We do this through respectful conversations, asking questions, and valuing each other’s differences.  Sometimes, in a specific situation, being kind can feel not “nice”. For example, when you say “no” to a child (to drinking sugary soda, for instance) may not feel kind to the child. However, you are doing it for the big picture -and setting boundaries for their future. 

7. How can parents learn how to be happier by learning from their children?

In a nutshell, being “child-like” is asking a lot of questions, instead of knowing all of the answers.  It’s listening more and pausing insteading of talking a lot.  It’s being imaginative and dreaming up what you want for your future, it’s being present and catching fire-flies in the summer or snowflakes on your tongue in the winter.