Sesame Street Launches a New Video Series to Help Children Learn How to Cope With Trauma
In a powerful new initiative launched by the creators of Sesame Street, the show’s beloved Muppets are teaching children how to cope with trauma and stress.
The video series is part of a wider Sesame Workshop initiative – which includes free online reading materials, games and activities in both Spanish and English, aimed at equipping children, caregivers and social workers with tools to help kids overcome traumatic experiences.
“When a child endures a traumatic experience, the whole family feels the impact. But adults hold the power to help lessen its effects,” the site explains.
“Several factors can change the course of kids’ lives: feeling seen and heard by a caring adult, being patiently taught coping strategies and resilience-building techniques, and being with adults who know about the effects of such experiences.”
Muppet Rosita works through her feelings of frustration and anger by being taught ways to let her “big feelings” out.
In this video, the Count teaches Cookie Monster a calming breathing exercise.
With Alan’s help, Big Bird imagines a safe place in which he can feel calm and peaceful.
In this video, Elmo explains and celebrates the safety and security of his blanket fort.
Several psychologists and educators are listed as advisers to the Sesame Workshop initiative. One of them, Ann Thomas, CEO of The Children’s Place in Kansas, US, – told NPR that she hopes the materials will help create a “sense of safety, consistency and predictability” for kids who are feeling scared and under stress, and will also empower adults to connect better with children experiencing trauma.
“I think one of the biggest values of this material is as a bridge for adults to take grown-up issues and put them in developmentally appropriate words to help children heal,” Thomas said. “When it’s your child, you don’t want them to hurt. Sometimes we want to say, ‘get over it.’ It’s hard to be with a child in that pain.”
What a commendable initiative this is, and full credit to Sesame Workshop for putting it together for their young fans.