Sesame Street's materials for kids with an incarcerated parent

As part of their "Little Children, Big Challenges" project, the Sesame Street people have produced an excellent module for helping kids cope with having a parent in jail (available in English and Spanish). The module includes some really good videos, a downloadable storybook, activities, and tips for caregivers and providers. The materials are beautifully and sensitively made, and Sesame Street deserves praise for taking on such a difficult and important subject.

Though the incarceration of a loved one brings about many challenges, it also provides an opportunity to show your child how much you love and care for him. Your love and support are the most important things to help him cope with this difficult change. Here are some tools to help you navigate some of the transitions and challenges that a parent's incarceration can bring.

Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration (via Super Punch)


  1. Unfortunately, there’s likely to be a huge, diverse audience for this. Locking people up for small things has become big, profitable business… and a surefire way to ring the bells of pinheads and a-holes who comprise the “base.”  The kids are just collateral in this malevolent”industry.”

    1. For small things like drug possession, I would tend to agree with you. If your “small things” are auto theft or assault, I’m out. These kids are victims of their parents bad decisions more so than being victims of the system.

      1. True… but actual violent offences are still a minority.  (Also, the number of people in jail for theft is partly an effect of the drug war).

  2. Now make one for kids whos parents are meth heads! And one whos parents abandoned them in an alley! OOOOR. Or, make one that teaches the kid to not grow up and be a shit parent whos kids will read these sad books.

      1.  You’re a genius. Seriously. The smartest guy I’ve came across on these interwebs. And your mom is smart too. Like seriously super duper smart.

    1. I considered a couple replies to this, but eventually I realized that your point is so incoherent that I was just guessing at what you’re actually getting at. I hear that you’re mad that somebody made a book for kids who have family members in jail. Would you like to say what your objection is, or what you would like to see done instead?

    2.  Holy shit, I didn’t realize my stupid comment would make all you lesbos get your panties in such a bunch. Well, keep analyzing my brilliant comment. I did a lot of research and proofreading before posting it.

  3. Another reason to love Sesame Street.  I was a year old when the show first aired. 

    Over the years, the series has never ceased to amaze me in the way that it’s dealt with incredibly difficult topics–death, child molestation (remember when Snuffeluffagus was finally seen/believed by everyone?), childhood hunger,  and disasters (post-911, especially.  I remember seeing the bit where Maria shows Elmo how to dial 911 if he sees a fire…).

    The website looks like a fantastic resource. 

    Yes, the “set” for the show is a multiethnic, multi-lingual urban area.  IMHO this is the #1 reason why The Powers of Evil want shows like Sesame Street defunded. 

    For New Yorkers especially, that show has a place in the hearts of many.  For years, one of their clips about parks that was in standard circulation showed a bit of park that was near my great aunt’s apartment in the South Bronx.  I remember getting excited when Mom took me there and recognizing the rides/jungle gym…but I digress.

    Good on Sesame Street for not shrinking from the most difficult topics.

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