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Big Bird and company will talk divorce with Maryland kids

With about 40 percent of marriages ending in divorce, many younger children no doubt will have questions about the subject, especially if their parents go through a split. As of 2012, the Maryland divorce rate was relatively low compared to that in other states, but no doubt many young children in this state will also have questions about the subject that divorce lawyers are not in the best position to answer.

Perhaps with that in mind, the producers of Sesame Street have developed several materials like videos and activities that explain the topic with its audience (as well as parents) in mind. The idea is to help children with any questions that they may have and to validate the complex of emotions a small child experiencing divorce may feel.

Sesame Street will not air these materials on live television. Parents will have to find them via the show's website or by other means.

The educational materials, which feature a young puppet explaining her own experiences with divorce, will emphasize joint legal and physical custody - a practice that is becoming more common. In a joint physical custody arrangement, the child spends roughly the same amount of time in each parent's house.

While joint physical custody usually requires that the divorcing couple be able to maintain a reasonably cordial relationship, experts say that the arrangement makes divorce easier on children and ensures a greater likelihood of their happiness in the long term.

In any event, young fans of Big Bird and their parents may be able to find support and help with what for many children is an extremely difficult subject that is hard to understand or process.

Source: The Record, "Sesame Street tackles the issue of divorce," Jan. 19, 2013.

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