The Countess of Wessex recently opened up about the upbringing she and husband Prince Edward are giving their children Louise and James in an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine. And now Sophie has spoken of the importance of helping young people understand social media during a discussion with in Good Housekeeping about how adults can help children navigate challenges in today's world.
“At the moment, my children aren’t into social media, however, it is here to stay, so it’s important for them to understand it and for us to equip them with the tools to navigate it successfully,” the Countess said about 16-year-old Louise and 12-year-old James.
She added: “Again, I think openness is one way families can support their teenagers. If children feel they can discuss issues and worries with their parents, without fear of them, or their friends, being judged, this may give opportunity to help them with what can be a complex and very pressured area. It’s so important that young people have adults in their lives who support and affirm them. Particularly when the virtual world can be, at times, unkind. Young people need to know they can trust someone with a problem, be that a person directly involved in their life or, of course, Childline is always there for them.”
Sophie spoke with the magazine, and appears on their October issue front cover, in her capacity as patron of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) and Childline, a counseling service in the UK. She visited Childline’s headquarters in June where she joined helpline volunteers for a shift describing it as a “fantastic insight into some of the remarkable work they do each and every day.”
The Countess also opened up about one young woman who she said made a “profound impression” on her. “She spent her entire childhood in care,” the Countess said. “She had lived in multiple care homes; sometimes for a few months, sometimes for longer. In a number of them, she was sexually abused. Her life was completely derailed. But one person gained her trust and slowly she started to turn things around, attending college and gaining qualifications.” Sophie explained that by the time they met, the woman “had a job as a support worker for other young people in care, trying to prevent them from being moved around the system, to give them the stability she never had. She was an inspiration.”
Sophie took over as patron of the NSPCC from the Queen in 2016, when the monarch turned 90 and handed over some of her patronages to younger royals. “I accepted the honour immediately," she told Good Housekeeping. The Countess emerged as one of the stars of the royal family when the coronavirus lockdown took hold, regularly volunteering with charities in her area. Since Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping back as working royals there has been an increased focus on her work. However, she has been steadily carrying out official engagements for more than 20 years since marrying the Queen’s youngest son in 1999.
Read the full interview with HRH The Countess of Wessex in the October issue of the UK edition of Good Housekeeping, which goes on sale August 26.
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