The long running children’s show has made a concerted effort over the years to open the discussion of real world events to young children.
Finally, the confusing but all too common topic of divorce is being featured for an upcoming episode.
The 13 minute segment will star a sparkly pink fairy named Abby Cadabby, whose parents have been divorced for some time. The segment will lead to a multimedia kit created by Sesame Street for families going through divorce.
Titled Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce, the kit comes with a storybook for kids and an app and guide for parents.
How the segment should be presented to young viewers was a concern for the program. They spent two years working with writers, producers, and researchers from the Sesame Workshop to hit just the right notes.
Lynn Chwatshy, Sesame Workshop’s vice president of outreach initiatives explained, “We want kids to understand that they’re not alone, and that it’s not their fault.” She felt Abby Cadabby was the right choice to feature the important discussion.
“These kids love and adore Abby. So to know that she’s going through something similar to them, something challenging, it’s like, ‘Wow. It makes it okay to have a whole range of feelings,'” Chwatsky added.
Sesame Street tried to run a segment on divorce back in 1992, but it failed during the testing phase with young children and never made it to air.
This time, Sesame Street executives are hoping for a better reaction after the segment was received positively by young children.
Will a new Muppet make all the difference? Chwatsky thinks so.
“That’s the beauty of Muppets. They can do things that even some grownups can’t.”
You can see a short blurb of the segment below.