Broadening our Definition of Family

Yesterday I saw that Sesame Street had introduced a new character to their show, Karli. Karli is a foster child and is being raised by Clem and Dalia. Then today I came across this article in The Atlantic about this new character.

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2019/05/sesame-street-created-foster-care-muppet/589756/?utm_content=edit-promo&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=the-atlantic&utm_medium=social&utm_term=2019-05-20T13%3A00%3A27

I decided to dig deeper into the world of Sesame Street by visiting the Sesame Street in Communities website found here: https://sesamestreetincommunities.org What I found on this website was a wealth of resources ranging from homelessness to trauma to big feelings.

The new addition of Karli really resonates with me because I just wrote my first picture book All Families Invited which celebrates different types of families. By using less-limiting language and by broadening our definition of family, we can help all children feel like they belong. I also resonate with these new initiatives to talk about hard topics in a developmentally appropriate way that kids can understand. Whether it’s in a picture book or on a kids show, it’s important that children are able to see characters who look like them and this might mean in terms of ability, race, family composition, etc.

Thank you Sesame Street for surfacing topics that often adults don’t want to talk about but are so important to the well-being of children.