Substance abuse can affect people of any race, religion, or sexual orientation and has claimed thousands of lives just this year alone. Sesame Street has introduced a character whose mom is facing addiction.
Karli, a green puppet with two yellow ponytails, appears in an online episode where she opens up to 10-year-old Salia about her mom’s ‘grown-up’ problem that she goes to meetings for.
When Karli expresses that she feels like her mom’s problem is because of her, Salia finds the words to comfort the puppet who is in foster care and offers up some coping techniques.
There are some parents who commend the program for tackling an issue that so many young children ave to deal with.
‘This is a harsh reality for kids. They are out there in these homes where parents are addicted with or without this exposure, and I commend Sesame Street for representing this. A child can make a connection and understand they are not alone,’ wrote one person in the comment section.
‘This would’ve been perfect for me as a child with an addicted mother. An outlet, a form of understanding, a learning resource for the privileged… Bravo Sesame street!’ said another.
This commentator added: ‘The kiddos need to feel like they are being represented. This is very much needed. ALOT of children can related to this and deserve to be represented along with stable homes.’
Sesame Street: “My mom needs help leaning to take better care of herself,” the green six-year-old says in one clip.
However, some critics didn’t think it was age-appropriate.
‘Substance abuse, foster care, and homelessness are serious subjects that children should eventually be educated about. But I’m not sure if a show geared towards pre-schoolers is the right venue to introduce this subject. Forgive me if I’m being naive, but it would be nice to try to preserve their innocence for a little while longer,’ one person explained.
Another said: ‘I find it cruel to the kids and parents who don’t have that issue. We try to protect our kids untill they are old enough to know the problems of the rest of the world. Exposure to this subject makes them curious when they aren’t ready to take on such topic. F for Sesame Street.’
What do you think about Karli’s revelation?