Duchess of Cambridge urges help managing children's emotions

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Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at the early years summit in Westminster credit:Bang Showbiz
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, at the early years summit in Westminster credit:Bang Showbiz

Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, believes "addiction, self harm and suicide" can be avoided later in life if children are taught to manage their emotions.

The 40-year-old royal - who has sons Princes George, eight, and Louis, four, and daughter Princess Charlotte, seven, with husband Prince William - spoke with health experts and politicians including Health Secretary Sajid Javid and Will Quince, the minister for children and families, and called for education on mental and physical health to be given equal waiting in order to tackle "today's toughest social challenges".

Catherine - who is passionate about the early years and founded the Royal Foundation Centre for Early Childhood last year - said at the Royal Institution in Westminster, London, on Thursday (16.06.22): “The importance of early years is clearly underestimated.

“We know that only a minority of people understand the critical importance of the first five years of a child’s life, and this is what we really do need to change.

“If we can teach children to manage their emotions and feelings at a young age, it will help them avoid having to turn to addiction, self harm or suicide even in later life.

“Together we have a huge opportunity here to help shape the future.”

Mr. Javid admitted there is "definitely more to be done" for children's cognitive development.

He said: "Early years couldn’t be more important in terms of cognitive development, emotional, physical development.

“Because of the last two years and the impact of the pandemic … it’s given us even more work to do.”

Catherine's foundation commissioned Ipsos to carry out a poll, which found parents are more likely to seek help on physical rather than mental wellbeing and almost half of the public believe there is not enough support for parents to help their children develop.

She said: “If we break down the barriers and stigma surrounding mental health, more parents and families will be able to access help and support.

“We’re going to have to work holistically to build an ecosystem of early childhood support.

“Ultimately, this is about the adults they’ll become and the society they’ll form.”

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