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Characters in fictional works hold a special place in our hearts when we relate to them. Seeing, reading about, or listening to someone who has similar life experiences as us is inspiring. We know we aren’t alone. If we haven’t been able to visualize our own future, we are given hope through our favorite character’s journey. Sometimes, the character can articulate more acutely what they are thinking and feeling than we can describe ourselves. With a character to guide us, we can navigate our own experiences with a friend, even though we never meet them.

Relating to characters is especially helpful for little kids. Fictional characters of all walks of existence teach children lessons, morals, values, alphabet letters, words, math, and more. Education has been using famous characters and less famous characters to bring kids relatable information for decades. Video series like SchoolHouse Rock has made things like a government bill and a grammar conjunction unforgettable through song. A new generation of Sesame Street watchers, one of the most infamous children’s education and entertainment programs, are receiving a new kind of education: emotions. Specifically, Sesame Street is relating the experience of trauma to young kids who are most likely to experience it.

NPR  reports on Sesame Workshop and Sesame in Communities, two outreach programs for children who are likely to experience a higher than normal amount of ACE’s before they are even six years old. ACE- adverse childhood experience- is getting attention as more awareness builds regarding the trauma children experience and how it affects them developmentally. Without early intervention, those developmental damages can follow a child into adolescence, teenagehood, and adulthood creating problems along the way. “The new trauma material focuses on simple coping skills for what many in the field call ‘big feelings’”, the article explains, “like anger, anxiety and sadness.”

Many grown ups with unresolved trauma are lacking in emotional vocabulary to adequately describe how they are feeling and what they have been through. The goal of these programs is to empower children to express themselves in a healthy way and connect with adults.  The programs also encourage children to experience their feelings, validating their emotional experience and creating safety for those emotions to be expressed- something many traumatized children live without.

The more we can inform ourselves and others, the more compassionate of a world we can build. Recovery begins with you. If you are struggling with traumas, addictions, and related mental health or compulsive behavioral issues, there is help available. The Guest House Ocala is a private residential program offering long term care with concierge style treatment in a remote, luxury setting.

Call us today for information: 1-855-483-7800