Exposed to more and more and younger and younger ages, Bermudian children today often have more emotional trauma than those growing up decades ago.
A programme that teaches children how to cope with their emotions has started in one local school.
Judith Burgess, director of PRIDE Bermuda, revealed that the PATHS programme - Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies, was introduced in Northlands Primary School last week.
Staring at the P1 level the programme teaches children self-control and helps them understand and recognise how their words and actions can impact others.
It is built on the science of children’s brain development, which has determined that children experience and react to strong emotions before they have developed the cognitive ability to verbalise them.
A PRIDE facilitator leads the 30-minute class once a week.
“It helps children deal with their emotions,” said Ms Burgess. “Anger management is taught in all local schools from the P1 level. This builds on that. PATHS takes all emotions into consideration. It looks at grief and loss, for example,” she said.
“We know that children’s feelings have to be addressed or else we have problems,” she said. “If we can address these feelings when they are young, then when they get to the age where they make decisions, hopefully they will make positive decisions.”
Ms Burgess said funding for the programme was still be worked on despite it having started last week.
October is a major fundraising month for the local charity, which aims to stop children from taking drugs.
“It’s our 15th anniversary this year. It’s about one person being able to make a difference, bring awareness or being able to play a positive part of a young person’s life that can help them refrain from taking drugs,” she said.
“We know there is a stage when children will or will want to experiment with drugs,” she added. “Having positive people around them can support them at this crucial time.”
PRIDE uses red ribbons as an awareness logo. This month the public is urged to wear the ribbons and donate to enable the charity’s programs to continue. Visitwww.pridebermuda.bmor call 295-9970 for more information.