Kate Middleton has opened up on the way her son, Prince Louis, can express how he is feeling at school using this simple mental health technique, and it's great for kids to try.
Not many parents know how to start a conversation about mental health with their children and while some parents might know how to spot the signs of bullying, a whole host of other factors can affect childhood mental health.
The Princess of Wales has been championing the importance of the early years through her Shaping Us campaign, and she has spoken out for the first time about the techniques her youngest son is using to express his own feelings.
Unveiling the results of a study on early childhood, in her speech at a symposium organised by her Royal Foundation's Centre for Early Childhood, Kate said, "Louis’s class, they came back with a feelings wheel. It’s really good, they go to the classroom - these are five or six-year-olds - and go in with names or pictures of a colour that represents how they feel that day.”
And if you're wondering how an emotions wheel works, psychologist Robert Plutchik, Ph.D. created a circular graph that depicts the range of human emotions and how they relate to one another. Most modern versions of the emotion wheel have eight core emotions at the centre. These are joy, fear, surprise, anger, trust, sadness, disgust, and anticipation.
Using colours to represent feelings is a great way for children to signal how they feel when they perhaps cannot find the right words.
There are many emotion expression toys to choose from online, including this emotion wheel with self-regulation zones from Etsy or these rainbow emotions fidget poppers on Amazon. And there's a great Pineapple emotional toy on Amazon that kids can use to express their feelings through play.
Plutchik's wheel of emotions colours and their meanings
- Yellow (dark to lighter shades) - ecstasy, joy, serenity
- Light green - admiration, trust, acceptance
- Dark green - terror, fear, apprehension
- Light blue - amazement, surprise, distraction
- Dark blue - grief, sadness, pensiveness
- Purple - loathing, disgust, boredom
- Red - rage, anger, annoyance
- Orange - vigilance, anticipation, interest
Prince Louis, five, attends Lambrook School along with his siblings Prince George, 10, and Princess Charlotte, eight.
And Kate has revealed that there is a "real keenness" for schools to get involved in conversations about mental health, which she said was "very important".
And Kensington Palace said the study marked the first time the Princess had used her global position internationally.
"This is the next level,” a spokesman said. “This is the blueprint for how she will think about the future of her work."
“We are not here to lobby policy but to set out a global framework that the early childhood sector can use. We know there are levers we can pull but policy isn’t one of them.”
In other royal news, Prince Archie and Lilibet record sweet birthday tribute to grandfather King Charles, we think Prince Louis would love to have joined in and Prince Harry’s plans for a ‘British’ Christmas for Prince Archie and Lilibet - selection boxes for breakfast?
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Selina is currently a Senior Entertainment Writer for Goodto.com, formerly Senior Entertainment writer for Woman&Home, and My Imperfect Life and has more than 16 years of experience in newspapers, magazines and online. She currently writes a mix of Entertainment news - including celebrity births, weddings and reality show line-ups including Strictly, Dancing On Ice and The Great British Bake Off, reporting the the latest news about the Royal kids Prince George, Charlotte, Louis, Archie and Lilibet as well as Family news stories from baby names to store closures and product recall warnings. Before joining Future Publishing, Selina graduated from the University of Sheffield in 2006 with a degree in Journalism. She is fully NCTJ and NCE qualified and has 100wpm shorthand. When she's not interviewing celebrities you can find her exploring new countryside walking routes, catching up with friends over good food, or making memories.