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Sesame Street tackles divorce

On the long-running children’s television show “Sesame Street,” it seems that the letter “D” stands for a new word: Divorce. That is because, for the first time in the show’s 40-year history, it has produced a series on divorce that aims to educate and empathize with children whose parents are going through a split, teaching them that their feelings are acceptable and perfectly normal.

To be accurate, Sesame Street attempted to discuss divorce about 20 years ago, creating a storyline in which Snuffleupagus’ parents divorced. But the show did not test well with preschool-age viewers, and it never aired. Now, the show is giving divorce another try, with one major change. The divorce series, titled “Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce” will only be available on the show’s website.

In the series, Muppet character Abby Cadabby is shown talking to Elmo and her other Sesame Street friends about her parents’ divorce. “This one is where I live with my mommy. And this is the one where I live with my daddy,” Abby says. “But Abby, why don’t you all live in one house together?” Elmo asks, in a question that is likely identical to many that received by children of divorced parents.

As Abby attempts to reconcile her feelings about her parents’ divorce, her friends reassure her that even though her parents don’t live together anymore, they still love her.

Further, they remind her that it is okay for her to experience different emotions during and after her parents’ divorce. “You can feel mad, or bad, or scared, or sad, all at the same time too,” another character sings, in a lesson that is valuable for anyone, regardless of age, who is dealing with divorce in any way.

Source: Fox, ” “D” is now for “Divorce” on Sesame Street,” Tammy Vigil, Dec. 13, 2012