The British royal family has come a long way from previous generations’ “stiff upper lip” stereotype. Not only has Prince Harry frequently talked about the PTSD he suffered after his mother’s death, but Prince William and Kate Middleton have also been relatively open about the daily stresses of their lives, particularly during quarantine. On a guest appearance in an online assembly for British schoolchildren on Thursday morning, the Duchess of Cambridge acknowledged how the pandemic might be causing kids to experience a whole lot of feelings.
“We all have our ups and downs, especially when things change in our lives as they have in so many ways recently,” the duchess said in the Oak Academy Assembly video, which is shown to kids across the U.K. “This can cause us to have a huge range of different feelings. Sometimes these feelings may be good, but sometimes they may be uncomfortable, and we feel worried, angry or upset.”
It’s clear that Kate has an advanced understanding of how to speak to kids about their mental health. While some might be tempted to label “worried, angry, or upset” feelings bad, that’s not necessarily helpful for children or adults. Calling them “uncomfortable” instead still acknowledges their validity. She and William have been working hard to provide mental health support to workers on the frontlines fighting COVID-19, so we wonder if she learned this then or knew it all along.
“Being unable to see your friends or spend time with your family will undoubtedly be frustrating for you, just as it is for them,” she continued. “It’s been a really difficult time for us all. But it’s important to know that these feelings and frustrations are totally normal, and that they won’t last forever.”
All of us as parents can now take notes and repeat that as a script the next time our cooped-up kids lose it. Unfortunately, we won’t all be able to nail that soothing, composed accent.
The rest of the video adheres to the theme of kindness, as the duchess explained how much doing kind things for others makes you feel good too.
Still, she gives a bit of advice even adult philanthropists need to take in once in a while.
“As we help others, we mustn’t forget to nurture ourselves by taking the time to focus on the things that make us feel happy too,” she said. “This might be playing our favorite game, being outside, or talking to our friends. They all help with our mental wellbeing.”
Sure, she’s a duchess, but here are photos of Kate Middleton being a regular mom, too.