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Sesame Street educates, empathizes with children of divorce

For Columbus parents who are going through a divorce, one of the most frequent worries is not money or debt, telling friends about the split or starting over with new relationships. It is the possible effects of the divorce on the children and how those effects can be minimized. Now, parents have a new tool for this difficult and important task.

For the first time in Sesame Street's more than 40-year history, the television show has tackled a difficult issue that most likely affects a large number of its viewers: divorce. The popular children's show has created videos and a guide called "Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce." The series, which is available on the show's website, is aimed at both children and parents.

Sesame Street attempted to tackle divorce 20 years ago, and created a storyline in which Snuffleupagus' parents divorced. But the show did not test well with preschoolers, and it ultimately never aired. Now, the show is discussing divorce once again, this time only airing the episodes online. And so far, it has been met with largely positive feedback.

The series features Muppet character Abby Cadabby talking to Elmo about her parents' split. "This one is where I live with my mommy," she says. "And this is the one where I live with my daddy." Her friends, some of whom admit that their parents, too, have divorced, reassure her that her parents still love her even though they don't live together anymore.

Then, some of the most important messages of the series come in the form of Abby's friends telling her that it's okay to experience different emotions while she gets used to the split. "You can feel mad, or bad, or scared, or sad, all at the same time too," another character sings.

Source: Fox 31, ""D" is now for "Divorce" on Sesame Street," Tammy Vigil, Dec. 13, 2012

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