5 important parenting lessons from the British royals

Parenting is hard – even if you get to wear a crown – so here’s how to do it with royal finesse.

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For parents who are raising their kids in front of the public eye 24/7, Prince William and Duchess Kate Middelton are determined to keep things at home as normal as possible.

However, normal is hardly a word you would use to describe British royalty – ever.

Especially when the world hangs on to this young royal family’s every word, action and fashion statement. From coveting Kate’s fab maternity style, and lusting over the vintage pram Princess Charlotte rocked up in for her Christening, to swooning over a robe-clad Prince George welcoming Barack Obama to his home – we are pretty much obsessed with this sweet family.

As relatable as they try to be, Will and Kate live a life many of us will never understand. But as parents they go through the same ups and downs as all of us. So, here are some parenting lessons we can learn from them.

Not being afraid to break away from tradition

LESSON #1 One thing’s clear, both the Duke and Duchess aren’t keen to be known as ordinary royals. In 2013, the Duchess’s sister, Pippa Middleton, threw a first-of-its kind baby shower for the birth of Prince George, breaking centuries of tradition. A year later, the Duke and Duchess spent Christmas at their Norfolk mansion with the Middleton family, away from the palace and the Queen. And Prince William drove the Duchess and Prince George home from St Mary’s Hospital instead of the taking a chauffeured ride back to the palace like his forebears did.
KEY TAKEAWAY Much as keeping up with family traditions and practices will keep your folks happy, don’t be afraid to create new customs for your own family. Better yet, rope in your parents, grandparents and relatives. It can be as simple as having a Chinese New Year celebration at your place instead of theirs. Or wearing Christmas pyjamas and having a special breakfast together with the kiddos, before spending the rest of the day with the grandparents.

Doing activities together are a sure-fire way to keep a relationship going… and if mummy and daddy are happy, so are the kiddos.

Doing simple things that’ll keep the romance alive

LESSON #2 The royal couple have been known to go on secret date nights, catching movies, attending basketball games and even rubbing shoulders with celebrities during awards season. Because if anything, doing activities together are a sure-fire way to keep a relationship going! And if mummy and daddy are happy, so are the kiddos.
KEY TAKEAWAY Subscribe to Netflix, rent a movie on Apple TV, or watch a local production on Toggle. With these affordable entertainment choices available to all, there’s no reason to skimp on date nights. From time to time, up the ante and get help from a babysitter as you head out for a night on the town. Just the two of you.

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Practising mindful listening with your kids

LESSON #3 Prince William was famously chided by the Queen for squatting down to speak to Prince George when they were out on the Palace’s during an event in 2016. But this hasn’t stopped him or his wife from continuing this practice. The couple are always seen lowering themselves to speak with Prince George or Princess Charlotte while holding eye contact.
KEY TAKEAWAY Parenting experts have labelled this method as “active listening” where the speaker (Prince George) gets the undivided attention of his listener (Prince William). The listener shows his interest through verbal and non-verbal messages like nodding one’s head or maintaining eye-contact. Taking interest in what your toddler has to say can be tough, especially when your brain is fried after a long day at the office. But taking the extra effort to practise active listening will help nurture mutual trust between you and your tot. On the plus side, your hamstrings will get a good workout while you’re at it!

Taking interest in what your toddler has to say can be tough, especially when your brain is fried after a long day at the office. But taking the extra effort to practise active listening will help nurture mutual trust between you and your tot.

Being hands-on

LESSON #4 Kate has been widely reported to have refused to hire any help following the birth of her son Prince George. Prince William even took time off from his duties as a helicopter pilot to be by his wife’s side in the early days after Prince George’s arrival.
KEY TAKEAWAY Yes, it’s crazy to think of going without a helper in this day and age where a dual-income household is the norm. But you should take heed to spend as much time as you can with your children and build strong bonds by not depending on your helper too much – especially during family time in the weekends. Your children will love you for it and you will be building everlasting memories.

Protecting your child’s privacy at all costs

LESSON #5 The royal couple released a press statement to remind photographers to respect their privacy when moved to the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, shortly after the birth of Princess Charlotte. The letter politely asked the photographers to respect “the clear request for acts of harassment and breaches of privacy to cease”.
KEY TAKEAWAY We know your child’s firsts are special and they are. But remember that every photo and piece of information you post is at risk of falling into the hands of cyber criminals and paedophiles. So, be judicious with what you share online!

Photos: POPSUGAR (main) & iStock

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