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Sesame Street Muppet With Dad in Jail

Sesame Street Tackles Tough Topic: Incarceration

For more than 40 years, Sesame Street has taught toddlers that "everything's A-OK," and now that even includes situations when a parent is incarcerated.

As part of an online tool kit designed to help children with a parent in prison "find support and comfort, and provide families strategies and tips to talk to their children about incarceration," Sesame Street has introduced a new Muppet whose dad is incarcerated, Today reports. Alex is the first Muppet to have a dad in jail, and expresses sorrow when he talks about his father, saying, "I just miss him so much . . . I usually don't want people to know about my dad."

According to a Pew Charitable Trusts report, one in 28 children in the United States now has a parent behind bars — more than the number of kids with a parent who has been deployed by the military.


"Children of parents behind bars often feel sadness, shame, and guilt about the situation, so they need to know they are loved and that the incarceration is not their fault," Carol Burton, executive director of Centerforce, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting families impacted by incarceration, tells Today.

And who better to share that message than a lovable Muppet?

After all, Sesame Street has helped kids tackle other tough topics in the past, like hunger, divorce, and military deployment.

What do you think of Alex?

Source: Today

ChelseaRundquist ChelseaRundquist 4 years
I like this a lot!
EmilyFordham EmilyFordham 4 years
People need to remember that these special Seseme Street characters are never on the regular show. Usually in special videos that are given to the children that they are trying to reach directly. That way they aren't opening conversations to children that these don't apply to. They have had characters with AIDS (for children in Africa mainly) and characters whose parents are deployed or who have died. You don't see these characters on the normal show.
Janet14653233 Janet14653233 4 years
I think it's creepy- Why would we want to 'normalize' this? Why would we want to desensitize our kids for this?? My son is close to 40 but I didn't let him watch Sesame Street back then and I wouldn't today... I tried to expose him to stable families, and I did what I could to make my own home a stable environment- I agree with MissNanny... I didn't see that she was sugghesting for a character of the Bible to be represented, but rather one exemplified, and that's a whole different thing-
withinthedream withinthedream 4 years
ElishaNewhook, you rock my socks. :)
ElishaNewhook ElishaNewhook 4 years
Well what character would you like from the bible? Most sesame street characters exude biblical teachings left right and center - kindness, sharing, being a good person. Just because you believe in god doesn't mean everybody does, or believes in the same one - to suggest that Sesame Street's message of "you're special and loved, everybody has feelings, please be nice, BTW here's the alphabet and numbers" needs to have a white guy with a beard on it is really unnecessary, exclusionary and not all together polite. This is public access, meant to reach everybody regardless of their situation and family background, and that means it's got to appeal to everybody. Besides, you don't need a muppet telling kids they're going to go to hell: Isn't that the parent's job?
withinthedream withinthedream 4 years
missnanny - Probably because it's a secular show.
JenniferWiseman JenniferWiseman 4 years
Well said, missnanny! :)
missnanny missnanny 4 years
They find characters for about every subject, but I have never seen a character that exemplifies anything from the Bible. Why not?
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