Rachel Griffin Accurso, known as Ms. Rachel to her 3.16 million YouTube subscribers, didn’t intend to become a sensation with young children and their parents. But when she realized there weren’t any developmentally appropriate shows for her son, she put her teaching degree to work and made one herself.
After just 4 years in production, her show, “Songs for Littles,” has over 1.8 billion views on YouTube.
Accurso is intentional with all of her videos, doing close-ups of her mouth when introducing new words and pausing to “hear” responses from her viewers after asking a question. She stresses that everything she teaches and models on the show is backed by research.
Given what Ms. Rachel does for the smallest among us, who could have a problem with her show? Some parents became angry that Ms. Rachel featured Jules Hoffman, who uses they/them pronouns, on her show. A TikTok user who describes herself as a “traditional mom” called out Ms. Rachel for being “political,” and the video received over 300,000 views.
Nothing can change that you are worthy of love #msrachel #songsforlittles #affirmations
“When Ms Rachel introduces they/them/their pronouns so you have to stop watching her,” the TikTok creator captioned her post.
The video resulted in a backlash against Ms. Rachel on social media from certain corners. But instead of letting it get to her, on February 27, she decided to take a break from social media to put things in perspective. That’s no easy task for someone who makes a living by producing online children’s content.
Ms. Rachel returned from her social media sabbatical on March 6 and shared some lessons she learned during her time away. But this time, she wasn’t wearing her trademark overalls, pink shirt and headband.
Love > fear #msrachel #msrachelsongforlittes #selfcare
“I was able to spend some time thinking about setting social media boundaries for myself, which is a good practice for a lot of people,” Accurso says in the short clip.
“And with social media boundaries, you figure out ways to protect yourself and you recognize, ‘Oh, when I do this, I don’t feel so good and so I’m going to do less of this.’”
“And it’s a good way to practice self-care, which is very important,” she continued. “But I am here to serve children and their families every day and to share the love and kindness that we want to see reflected in the world. And thank you so much for all the love.”
She ended the video by saying “thank you” three times and captioned the clip, “Love > fear.”
Accurso’s comments are an excellent way for us to look at our lives on social media. Sometimes it’s great to take a break, think about what message we are trying to send to the world and set a clear intention for how we behave in public.
Ms. Rachel could have tried to turn the table on her critics, but instead, she looked at the situation and reaffirmed her goal to share kindness with the world. Her reaction feels a lot like how Mr. Rogers would have handled the situation. And you can never go wrong following in the footsteps of Mr. Rogers.