‘Sesame Street’ takes on divorce with help from U of I professor

When Sesame Street chose to take on the tricky subject of divorce, the writers identified four experts, including the University of Illinois professor Robert Hughes Jr., to advise them as they developed their facts for the topic.

Hughes is the head of U of I’s Department of Human and Community Development and has studied and written about the effects of divorce on families for years.

Hughes shared that “Some 40 percent of families experience divorce, so the experience is widespread, but our individual lives and crises are always uniquely our own. Children need to know that they’re not alone in these experiences and that they can bring their feelings to their parents and caregivers.”

In the divorce episode of Sesame Street, a familiar character, Abby Cadabby, has to negotiate some of the same rocky terrain that many real children are dealing with due to divorce, Hughes said. Abby’s parents have been divorced for a while, so she has had time to recover and has an easier time talking to her friends about the pictures that she has drawn of her parents’ two houses.

Gordon goes on to explain that divorce is an adult problem and that children will continue to be loved by both parents.

Many experts have applauded Sesame Street for creating the “Little Children, Big Challenges: Divorce” toolkit, opening straight forward conversations about these feelings on the program, and making kits that are available to parents, caregivers, child-care providers, military families, and the court system.

Hughes plainly states that children do better when their parents can reduce to amount of conflict and fighting between one another and find a way to continue parenting together.

Sesame Street had proven to be a big help for children dealing with divorcing parents, however other aspects of the process are more complicated. For additional help with your divorce, contact an Illinois divorce attorney today. Martoccio & Martoccio divorce attorneys are here for you.

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