How 'Arthur' masterfully taught kids about PTSD and 9/11

The YouTube channel Seasons recently analyzed an old episode of the children's show Arthur that used a school fire as an allegory for the traumatic events of 9/11. The episode's goal is pretty straightforward–make this heavy stuff understandable to kids. It shows Arthur and his friends dealing with the "school fire" in different ways, just like people did with 9/11 in real life.


Arthur explores serious, heavy topics in a way that is realistic and unpatronizing to children. As the show discusses these things, they are often veiled in a way that makes them digestible and understandable to a younger audience, but it's never patronizing. It's a lot easier to appreciate these qualities through the lens of adulthood.

There's no better example of this than Arthur's 9/11 episode. In these 22 minutes, the show discusses survivor's guilt, intense PTSD, and so much more in a way that is really beautiful. The episode is shocking in how well written it is. This wasn't really a one-time experiment either. During its run, Arthur touched on subjects like gay rights, misinformation, book banning and even the George Floyd murder.

The big takeaway from this episode is that it's totally okay, and in fact important, to talk about your feelings and ask for help when you're dealing with tough stuff like trauma. The folks behind Arthur knew what they were doing–making sure kids understood they're not alone in their feelings. (Digg)