photo: Sesame Workshop

Blended families can be confusing to kids. To help kids sort things out, Sesame Street just gave its beloved pink fairy, Abby Cadabby, a stepbrother.

The new kid on the block is Rudy, a three-year-old monster with orange fur and a mop of blue hair (a far cry from Abby’s pink pigtails and wings!). According to Sesame Workshop, Rudy’s arrival should “help kids explore stories about siblings, blended families and conflict resolution.”

“Families come in many forms — including newly-blended families, which can present unique challenges for kids,” Sesame Workshop said in a press release. “As part of Sesame Street‘s kindness curriculum, kids will watch as Abby and Rudy meet for the first time, get to know each other, and overcome their differences to embrace their new sibling relationship.”

It’s important stuff, because even if your child isn’t part of a blended family, chances are he or she’s got a friend who is. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16 percent of U.S. children live with a stepparent, stepsibling or half-sibling. And, data from the Pew Research Center says fewer than half of all kids today live in a “traditional” two-parent family.

Rudy’s introduction comes as part of Season 47’s “Kindness Curriculum,” which aims to help children develop compassion and self-regulation skills.

Click on the YouTube link below if you’d like to see Abby Cadabby introducing her new stepbrother on The Today Show. 

Do you have a blended family? Tell us in the comments below.