Most clients tell us that the most difficult moment of divorce comes when they finally tell their children. They delay; they struggle for the right words, the right time, the right mood. They wonder if it should be with one parent or both parents. They fear the questions the children might ask.
Children also express different emotional reactions to finding out about their parents’ divorce. Some, in their teenage years, may know much more about divorce and have friends whose parents are themselves divorced. They may have suspected this coming by watching what had happened in the house. They may have more tools to deal with divorce.
But younger children have a much harder time comprehending what divorce really means for the family and for their young lives. It can be scary to learn you will have two homes, that you cannot see one parent every day, or whenever you want. Because younger children are by nature more dependent on their parents, any separation creates anxiety and confusion.
Fortunately for parents, in these difficult moments, Sesame Street offers an amazing online resource specifically targeted to divorce. Using the same characters so familiar to young fans of this classic show, both human and muppet, short videos of 1-2 minutes offer wonderful, kind, judgment free explanations about divorce – what it is, how it happens, what will change, and removing blame.
Because it is a friendly environment, children can readily appreciate the stories and the characters. Parents can have the children sit and watch with them together and afterward discuss how they are going to go through a similar experience, and what questions they might have at that point.
We think Sesame Street has offered a wonderful gift to children who go through what can be very difficult experiences by providing a means to comprehend, digest and emotionally process what divorce will mean for them and their family. We encourage you to check out the site and judge for yourself.
If you have questions about resources for parents and children to discuss divorce, contact us – we can help.