Young Elmo usually rocks out on his “guitar” while his dad plays “drums,” but dad isn’t there. So he asks his mommy Mae to play drums, but she says she needs to get busy preparing the garlic, tomatoes, onions and peppers for supper.

Then, she has a change of heart and decides to order pizza instead, so she can spend more time with Elmo.

“When routines change, like they often do for military families like mines, doing things simpler can be a good way to take care of ourselves and our families. That way we are always ready to rock,” says Mae.

She turns the bowl upside down, beats it with her whisk, and the two rock out.

While routines are important, sometimes mixing things up to enjoy a spontaneous moment with your family can be a great form of self-care. And that is the message from the newest suite of resources from “Sesame Street for Military Families.”

In an announcement of the new resources, Sesame Workshop officials noted the disruptions caused by the pandemic over the last three years, with added stressors affecting the emotional well-being of children and their caregivers. This was especially true for military families, who already regularly face disruptions in their routines because of the military lifestyle, such as relocation and deployment. The added tension also affects military families in caregiving situations.

In five new short videos, “What Went Well,” “Keep It Simple,” “Still and Quiet,” “Meal Planning,” and “Daily Movement,” Sesame Workshop presents strategies for self-care and emotional well-being in military families. You can find them at Though the videos are helpful for all families, some have specific references to blue star families.

“The healthier the entire family is in mind and body, the more energy, patience, and support they will have for one another and their community,” Jeanette Betancourt, Sesame Workshop’s senior vice president of U.S. social impact, said in the announcement about the resources.

“Every little moment of self-care can have a big impact. Sesame Workshop is here with resources and support for our military and caregiving families who give so much of themselves in service to their country.”

Sesame Workshop launched its Sesame Street for Military Families in 2006, with a variety of resources for military families, including topics such as deployments, grief, injuries, relocation, and military homecomings.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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