For young kiddos who are learning to tie their shoes and clean up their toys, talking about divorce can be a scary monster of a conversation. It’s tough for all involved, and you are not alone. Stats show that half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage. Of these, close to half will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage. *
As a culture, we’ve struggled to appropriately address the issues kids face with separated parents: having two homes, behavioral changes, or missing a parent who has moved out. Gratefully, the puppets from Sesame Street are breaking the ice.
Like many first attempts, Sesame Street’s initial try at breaching this touchy subject didn’t fare well–it never even made it on the air. However, by carefully reframing the situation, writers gave voice to kids everywhere through the puppet Abby Canabby. Abby is an upbeat and honest fairy who talks about adjusting to her new family changes. Check out the lesson-filled article and video to learn what works and what doesn’t when talking to kids about divorce.
As a divorced father and family attorney, I know how important it is to develop healthy ways to have the big discussions. With a little help from our friends on Sesame Street, you can begin to ensure that your children come out of the divorce process with a positive outlook that will set them up for happy lives.
*(Furstenberg, Peterson, Nord, and Zill, Life Course).