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'Sesame Street' tries to talk about divorce, again

Oftentimes, divorce can be a tricky concept to explain to young children. Just ask the bright minds at "Sesame Street," who have made a living off of teaching children valuable, and sometimes difficult, life lessons. Even those skilled researchers, producers and writers have grappled with the means to explain the concept of divorce to children. This is an effort Sesame Workshop -- the entity that produces Sesame Street -- will take another stab at soon.

Sesame Workshop is planning to release a 13-minute segment online that features a character known as Abby Cadabbi. The storyline will state that the fairy's parents have divorced, thus, explaining to children what that means and what sort of life changes have resulted.

The segment will go along with a multimedia kit dubbed "Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce," which includes a book, app and guide for parents.

These materials will not air on the television show "Sesame Street", but the online content will address the issue of divorce head on.

"Sesame Street" tried to address the issue of divorce back in the early 90s. Producers were prompted by statistics that indicated 40 percent of children would soon live in divorced homes. However, when the segment was tested on a group of preschoolers, it bombed. The information worried and confused the children, causing some of them to cry. "Sesame Street" scrapped the segment and shelved talk of divorce until now.

Researchers point out that resources for preschoolers that are caught in the middle of a divorce are virtually non-existent. This is a niche "Sesame Street" looks to fill.

Source: Time Magazine, "'D' is for Divorce: Sesame Street Tackles Another Touchy Topic," Jessica Bennett, Dec. 10, 2012

Stop by our divorce and family law web page to learn more about the various family law issues that will come up as a marriage ends.

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William C. Gentry, Attorney at Law

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