USA: Sesame Street Highlights Parental Addiction
Sesame Street has launched a new initiative to help kids deal with parental substance use problems.
Sesame Workshop, the organization that produces the beloved children’s show, has created a new character Karli and a series of videos that features the 6-year-old Karli talking to her friends about her mom’s struggle with addiction. The group has also launched a website with tools designed to guide parents, teachers, caregivers and other adults to support kids dealing with parental substance use problems.
The website follows how Karli is dealing with her mother’s addiction and also shares a young girl’s story of her family dealing with addiction.
“I’m proud of Mom and Dad for asking for help, and not using drugs and alcohol anymore. And they’re proud of me, for just being me.” Ten-year-old Salia shares her family’s story. https://t.co/q0Dfjd3fpa #SunnyDaysAhead pic.twitter.com/hmf5O4t5t2
— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) October 10, 2019
In a statement, Sesame Workshop said that about 5.7 million children under age 11 in the United States live in households with a parent with a substance use disorder. Which is one in eight kids and doesn’t include children who aren’t living with a parent due to separation or divorce, incarceration or death as a result of their addiction.
For children who connect to Karli, hearing, ‘It’s not your fault — you are not alone, and there are safe people and places that can help,’ opens a path to hope and healing,” Jerry Moe, national director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Children’s Program, as per CNN.
When a family member struggles with addiction, the whole family is affected – especially children. They often think it’s their fault; they feel shame, embarrassment, guilt, and loneliness; they may feel invisible.
It takes special effort to protect children from harm and promote their well-being, including by starting important conversations and answer children’s questions. Parents, teachers, caregivers, and other caring adults can comfort children and guide them through difficult moments. With love and support, the family can cope with the challenges of addiction together.