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Divorce addressed by family-friendly show

Families in Ohio have been watching Sesame Street for years. The show has helped teach generations of kids how to read, count and write. In addition, the puppets over at Sesame Street have also tackled some serious concepts such as pregnancy, adoption, race, natural disasters and death. Now, the show is going to be addressing divorce.

Producers apparently tried to bring the topic of divorce to the show during the early 1990s. This was at a time when reports were indicating that almost 40 percent of U.S. children would soon live in homes split by divorce. So, the show tasked its best writers with creating a script. It was taken, used and screened to children. Instead of enjoying the show, the children cried, afraid that no one loved the character whose parents were splitting and that their own parents might do the same.

For some families of divorce, this may sound familiar. Many children are terrified of the changes that may come when their parents decide to go separate ways, so it is important to address these fears by speaking openly and listening to concerns. Experts often suggest that divorcing parents should hold the needs of the children in the forefront of their minds during the split-and after for that matter.

Since the episode from two decades ago failed, Sesame Street has tried a new approach. It has included scenes related to divorce in its multimedia interface known as "Little Children, Big Challenges" where parents can find the familiar puppets addressing topics such as incarcerated parents, bullying, bedtime blues and making new friends.

This allows interested families to seek out such episodes, rather than having them air to all children. According to a press release from the Sesame Street Workshop, there are few resources to show children that they are not alone in a divorce-they hope that this will change that.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, "'Sesame Street' tackles the big 'D,' divorce," Stephanie Hanes, Dec. 12, 2012

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