Sesame Street helps military families transition to civilian life

| July 18, 2018 | 0 Comments
Abby shows drawings of dad’s and mom’s homes. Photos by Richard Termine.

Abby shows drawings of dad’s and mom’s homes. (Photo by Richard Termine)

Sesame Street understands military life brings many changes. When you are getting ready to transition to civilian life, so is the entire family.

The good news: You’ve got this! All the deployments and frequent PCSing have prepared you for this moment.

To help with these changes, Sesame Street has created resources for both the caring adult and the young child to help prepare for the next family adventure. When you visit our transition resources at www.sesamestreetformilitaryfamilies.org you will find tips and activities to help kids talk through their big feelings, as well as, suggestions to encourage and provide support for each other in this next chapter of your family’s exciting story.

Here are a few simple suggestions from our resources to help you get started:
1. Reliable Routines. Find comfort in the familiar, especially in everyday routines your family shares. This gives your child something to look forward to each day as well as a sense of control. Remind children exactly what they can always rely on.

What Changes/Stays the Same:
http://www.sesamestreetformilitaryfamilies.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Transitions_WhatChanges.pdf

(From left to right) Rosita, Elmo, Katie and Grover sing a song about how to keep in touch with old friends after moving to a new post during the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families show in 2012 on Schofield Barracks.

(From left to right) Rosita, Elmo, Katie and Grover sing a song about how to keep in touch with old friends after moving to a new post during the Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families show in 2012 on Schofield Barracks. (Courtesy photo)

“Elmo’s and his Daddy will snuggle and read a bedtime story together every night, no matter what.”

2. New place, new adventure. Get excited about all the new and interesting places you will be able to explore together. Check out books and print out a map to let your child find special places of interest.

 

 

My Travel Map:
http://www.sesamestreetformilitaryfamilies.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/SesMilFam_MovingAppENG_Map.pdf

“Hello everybodee! Grover is excited to explore new places and meet people on his next adventure.”

3. Make packing exciting. If your transition back to civilian life requires you to relocate, encourage your children to help by decorating their boxes with markers and stickers.

Moving Labels:
http://www.sesamestreetformilitaryfamilies.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/SesMilFam_MovingAppENG_Labels.pdf

“Cookie Monster put label with letter ‘C’ on box. ‘C’ is for ‘Cookie’! Me know where cookies are!”

Grover, Cookie Monster, Katie, Elmo, Honker and Rosita sing and dance for service members and their kids during The Sesame Street/USO Experience for Military Families kick-off performance at Scott Air Force Base, last year. The show comes to Schofield Barracks for 2 and 5 p.m. performances, Nov. 16, at Sgt Smith Theater. The new charactor, Katie, is a military kid on Sesame Street who is moving to a new home and deals with relocation issues. The show is free admission for military families and their children. Open seating will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis; no tickets required. Doors will open 30 minutes prior to showtime. Contact 655-0111/0113. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

Grover, Cookie Monster, Katie, Elmo, Honker and Rosita sing and dance for service members and their kids at Schofield Barracks in 2012. (USO Photo by Fred Greaves)

4. C is for Communicate. Talk about the upcoming or ongoing change together. There are many opportunities to listen, ask, and reassure your child. Play Sesame Street’s Mood Monster http://www.sesamestreetformilitaryfamilies.org/mood-monster/ to help explore how our faces and bodies express emotions. Encourage your child to share feelings about your new home, school, friends, and community.

5. Keep the old ones, and make new ones. Friendships are important to kids and adults. Remind your children that they can stay connected with their old friends through email for older kids, video conferencing, or by drawing and sending their friends pictures of their new home. If they are nervous about making new friends, role play and ask them questions a new friend might ask and let them answer.

We Can Still Be Friends:
http://cdn.sesamestreet.org/sites/default/files/media_folders/Images/Veterans_Printable_WeCanStillBeFriends.pdf

“Rosita practices introducing herself to new friends: ‘Hola! My name is Rosita. What’s your name?”

“Sesame Street” characters and hosts engage children and families in various Sesame Workshop multimedia outreach sources titled “Little kids, Big Challenges: Divorce.” The multi-platform outreach program is designed to provide tools and language to help young children cope with and understand divorce at an age-appropriate level, while assisting families in communicating. Photos by Richard Termine.

“Sesame Street” characters and hosts engage children and families in various Sesame Workshop multimedia outreach sources. (Photo by Richard Termine)

6. Seek support from other veteran families. The veteran network can be a helping hand from people who know what you are going through. Also, offering your family’s unique talents, skills, and knowledge through your community service can bridge a connection with your past and present identities, and help you stay strong as a family.

7. Stand like a Super Hero. Remind your children they are the hero of their adventure. Help them “rehearse” for success in challenging situations. Practice the superhero pose: hands on hips, head held high, strong stance (feet hip-width apart). Confidence is contagious!

Stand Like a Superhero:
http://cdn.sesamestreet.org/sites/default/files/media_folders/Images/Veterans_Printable_StandLikeaSuperhero.pdf

“Say it with Super Grover: I am strong! I am brave! I am an adventurer!”

To learn more about Sesame Street’s resources for military families, visit www.sesamestreetformilitaryfamilies.org.

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