Friendly Neighbors There, That’s Where We Meet.
And now for something completely different, I went to Sesame Workshop in NYC today to listen to a panel discussion on Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce.
Divorce is one of the most common major transitions in children’s lives, with 40 percent of all children experiencing the divorce of their parents. With Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce, Sesame Street has created much-needed resources for families with young children (ages 2-8) as they encounter the tough transitions that come with divorce.
The website above has all kinds of information, for parents, for kids, for anyone dealing with children during the time their parents divorce. There are clips, tips, songs, even a phone app for when questions come up at times that aren’t quite as convenient as others. The book: “Two-hug day” helps with the transition time from one parent’s care to the next. The kit for families coping with divorce is available at http://sesamestreet.org/divorce
Are you old enough to remember when Mr. Hooper died? Sesame Street was such a core part of my life that I felt the news like Big Bird did, I was confused and so sad. I identified with Big Bird’s feelings of loss and not understanding why Mr. Hooper wouldn’t be back. Heartbreaking, but the people on Sesame Street helped me through. Sesame Street has dealt with all kinds of difficult lessons through the years, and now divorce. Why now? Even with the percentage of children dealing with divorce, “we don’t hear the child’s point of view.” according to Dr. Jeanette Betancourt, Senior VP of Outreach and Educational Practices at Sesame Workshop. Abby Cadabby’s mommy and daddy live in different houses. This storyline plays out online, not in tv broadcast because of the sensitive nature that everyone’s situation is different. But Abby’s story might be some other child’s story, too.
I attended the panel today with moms and dads and one of Sesame Street’s own actors who spoke frankly and candidly about their own divorce situations. Some are years-divorced and others are still working through the process. Their children vary in age, and each parent stressed that as Dr. Betancourt put it, adults have grown up problems, but separate that from the children. “Nothing could’ve prepared me for the road I’ve taken,” Alison Bartlett, “Dr. Gina” on Sesame Street said. I think Sesame Street’s addressing this topic and offering tools for parents and kids can definitely help.