Addiction is the kind of disease that can break a family and yet kids often struggle to understand what's happening. In a new episode of Sesame Workshop, Elmo and his dad tackle this subject with the sensitivity it calls for.
Addiction is a scary thing that can happen to anyone, anytime, with no notice whatsoever. It is one of those rare diseases that doesn't exactly have a precautionary measure as such, except to stay away from things and habits that can eventually turn into addictions. But that is easier said than done. In a beautiful video by Sesame Workshop, we see Elmo and his father tackling the subject of parental addiction for the show's young viewers with the sensitivity a topic like this calls for.
According to its website, Sesame Workshop "is a global impact nonprofit organization with a mission to help children everywhere grow smarter, stronger and kinder." It is currently available in more than 150 countries, on screens, in classrooms, in communities — everywhere families can use a trusted hand to help little ones reach their full potential. Their unique characters bring joyful learning into children's lives. They aim to bring happiness to the lives of people.
More than 4% of children in the United States live in a household with a parent who misuses opioids, according to estimates from the Department of Health and Human Services. https://t.co/HYU3Dq9ZPF— Ryan Hampton (@RyanForRecovery) December 7, 2023
One of the primary things to know about addiction for parents is that their kids are the ones that get affected the most since they will find it hard to comprehend what's happening. They see their parent being different, but that's it. There is no explanation to justify it in their minds. The video's caption says, "Elmo and his daddy Louie talk about parental addiction and getting the right help to feel better." It rightly states that when a parent struggles with addiction, the whole family struggles. The video begins with Louie praising Elmo for his terrific monster ball skills, to which Elmo says thanks and then goes on to mention, "You know, um, Elmo had a lot of fun with Karli today."
He adds, "Um, Elmo knows that Karli's mommy was away for a while. Um, but now she's back. But Karli's mommy looks and acts different than she did before." To this, his dad promptly agrees with him. Then Elmo asks his dad why Karli's mommy had to go away in the first place. To that, the dad replies that Karli's mommy had a sickness called addiction. Explaining it further, he says, "Addiction makes people feel like they need a grown-up drink called alcohol or another kind of drug to feel okay. That can make a person act strange in ways they can't control."
Our friends @NacoaUK put us in touch with one of their amazing ambassadors, Julie Hughes, who created this amazing original poem based on our chosen theme for #AddictionAwarenessWeek2023 (#AAW2023) 'Everybody Knows Somebody.'— Taking Action on Addiction (@ActionAddiction) December 7, 2023
Video and news link ⬇ https://t.co/qsWa8gOIBx pic.twitter.com/xmVJdSrncR
To this, Elmo innocently asks his dad, "But why doesn't she stop?" Louie lovingly explains, "Oh, it's not something you can just stop doing. Not without help from the right grown-ups." When Elmo wonders whether Karli's mommy will get better, the father says that she is trying her absolute best and working hard to take good care of her body and mind so that she can stay healthy and make good choices in life.
Like all good things, having conversations about tough topics like addiction with kids will also take time and effort. However, as the caption states, "But caring adults can comfort and guide children through difficult moments."