Sesame Street Tackles Thorny Issue of Divorce - The Houston Family Law Blog

The Houston Family Law Blog

Sesame Street Tackles Thorny Issue of Divorce

Beloved children's TV show "Sesame Street" is tackling the complex issue of divorce.

With millions of children watching the television show daily, some would believe that the move makes sense. Others, however, feel the need to protect children from the more complex realities of life.

For their first try, "Sesame Street" brought the topic home in a very gentle way, casting Snuffy the Suffleupagus as the child going through the divorce of his parents, writes Time magazine.

He confides in Big Bird. Then Gordon explains to viewers that divorce isn’t always a bad thing. At least they thought it was gentle, when they ran the segment in a test run.

Did the preschoolers watching the show understand what was going on? Apparently not, writes Time. Some of the children were confused. Others thought that Snuffy’s parents no longer loved him. They cried.

So now, the topic has been re-thought and revamped with Abby Cadabby as the child of parents who have been divorced for a while. The show decided to run this new segment online instead. The segment talks about Abby living in two different homes, as the child of parents with shared custody.

Each year, over one million children in the United States have parents who divorce or separate. For many children, the custody battles and legal drama are well beyond their comprehension. And while the parents are hashing out the legal details of custody, the children are often left in the dark, shuttling back and forth between the parents.

“Sesame Street’s” new online initiative is trying to make the stress of divorce easier on the kids. But it’s not the only resource available to kids in a divorce.

Texas family courts have something called the amicus attorney, or the attorney assigned to work with a child in a custody battle and help the court decide in favor of the best interests of the child.

When in doubt, there’s also psychological counseling for children of divorce, to help them understand and cope with the change. But Muppets can certainly help kids feel that maybe they are not the only ones going through a tough time.

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