Sesame Street launched a new web series last week to help families, service providers and teachers help kids grapple with the issues of substance abuse and addiction. The initiative, created by Sesame Street in Communities (SSIC), will help children “overcome the trauma of parental addiction.”
The content is aimed at therapists, first responders, community leaders, and others who work with children and families. Addiction is a common family problem that the series wants to destigmatize and teach people to
Sesame Street Offers Content For Kids on Addiction, Too
Not only is there content for family, but there are also special videos for kids. The activity sheets are great for families to do together with their young children. Other educational materials are age-appropriate are available in both English and Spanish.
Jerry Moe, the national director of the Hazelden Betty Ford Children’s Program, says the videos are tools that can help family therapists develop their work, especially when they’re working with kids.
In one episode of the Webinar series, Moe will explore resources from the Parental Addiction topic page and offers ways a therapist (or any provider) could use them in their own work with children and families.
Most importantly, the materials are meant to help kids understand more about addiction and recovery at their appropriate age level.
Recognizing Addiction As a Family Disorder
The Sesame Street series truly adopts the family disease model in a way that helps all move toward recovery, recognizing that all lives in a family are touched when somebody is addicted.
Kids may think that their parent’s addiction or actions of their parents are their own fault. Or they may feel shame, anger, or hurt when it comes to their parent’s addiction. Kids may have seen things that are frightening or confusing. The videos at Sesame Street offer families, therapists, and others guidance on approaching adult topics.
There are activities, information for family members, and addiction-related worksheets to help kids with concepts available at the Sesame Street Communities page.