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Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis rarely put a toe out of line in the public eye.
The Duchess of Cambridge is often praised for her children’s remarkable behaviour, but we all know how cheeky the little royals can be!
Now and then the youngsters have been known to take a leaf out of their father Prince William’s book, who earned the title ‘Your Royal Naughtiness’ as a child.
Charlotte has been captured sticking her tongue out while George got a good telling off at Pippa’s wedding for his silly shenanigans.
But they’re allowed a little tantrum or two!
Kate has moulded the Cambridge kids into impeccably mannered royals, but how has she done it?
Dr Rebecca Chicot, founder of Essential Parent and the author of the Calm and Happy Toddler has the answers.
“Kate is a sensitive and warm mum,” Dr Rebecca told the press.
The author says Kate uses “An authoritative style of parenting that is now encouraged.”
“This is compared to an autocratic parenting that was encouraged in some circles in Victorian times (e.g. children should be seen and not heard).”
Taking on tantrums
During an early years project, Kate was asked by the public how she copes with her children making a fuss.
She said, “Yes, that’s a hard one,” adding with a chuckle “I’d also like to ask the experts myself.”
Alice Haynes, deputy head of the Early Years programme at the Anna Freud Centre, had her own advice to share.
She said, “When my son has a temper-tantrum, I try to put into words how I think he might be feeling in a slow and calm and gentle way.”
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Prince George was a bit too cheeky at Pippa Middleton’s wedding in 2017.
To calm him down, Kate was pictured softly touching him on the head – a gentle nudge to mind his manners.
She even held her finger up to quiet her son as the ceremony began inside the church.
Dr Rebecca says helping children see right from wrong is an important part of being a good parent, even if young George was upset by the telling off.
“It’s very hard for any parent to have to parent in public,” she said. “She seems to be good at making warm contact ‘touch to the head’ which is a nice connection.”
On their level
Kate and William have been spotted many times crouching down to speak to their children at their eye level.
Dr Rebecca shared, “She gets down to their level to talk to them but lets them be children.”
“She has a lovely balance of sensitivity and gentle boundaries. She doesn’t expect them to behave like little adults and knows that children go through perfectly natural stages like tantrums.”
Princess Charlotte showed her sassy side by poking her tongue out at a charity regatta in 2019.
Onlookers all praised Kate for her sweet reaction to Charlotte’s silly gesture.
She was encouraging the princess to wave at onlookers in Cowes, Isle of Wight, but Charlotte had a better idea!
As Charlotte stuck out her tongue, Kate appeared to burst out laughing, like most of the crowd.
Fellow parents applauded the duchess’ response with one gushing, “Just a normal child! You can’t control their every move. Kate’s response was fantastic!”
The serious finger
Travelling with children isn’t a walk in the park.
As a toddler, Charlotte had a mini meltdown in Hamburg and Kate was seen speaking to her at eye level.
She raised a finger as she spoke, showing the tot that she meant business, and Charlotte quickly calmed down.
Dr Rebecca explained: “When Charlotte was upset she got down to talk to her quietly. This shows firmness and warmth – neither cajoling or getting angry.”
Keep calm and carry on
The naughty step is a popular move for parents when children act out, but Kate has different ideas.
Apparently, the duchess says to her little ones “let’s take a break” and allows them to calm down with a puzzle or book.
If the meltdown is away from home, she quickly scoops her kids up and speaks to them calmly and carefully.
Kate lets her kids spend plenty of time playing outside – no matter what the weather.
She’s passionate about boosting their happiness through nature and letting them enjoy “simple things.”
Speaking on the podcast Happy Baby Happy Mum, Kate said: “As children, we spent a lot of time outside and it’s something I’m really passionate about.”
Prince William and Kate Middleton
“I think it’s so great for physical and mental wellbeing and laying those foundations.”
Kate told Mary Berry on their Christmas Special with ITV: “We grow our own vegetables. We’ve got carrots, beans, beetroot – a massive favourite – Louis absolutely loves beetroot.”
“I think being outside and being in nature is such a great environment for [children] to learn lifelong skills, really. Physical, emotional and cognitive skills. Whether it’s digging, running, boulder-hopping…”
Doing it by the book
Kate’s parents are happy to help out with the kids and the duchess has a nanny too, but she’s keen to be involved in the children’s lives and reads up on new parenting techniques.
It’s thought she gets advice on child-rearing from books like Positive Discipline: The First Three Years and The Happiest Toddler on the Block.
Kate admits when she doesn’t get it right, sharing her thoughts at The Royal Foundation’s ‘Mental Health in Education’ conference.
Kate said: “When I first started out and I've learnt a lot in a short period of time working with organisations, I was very naive myself as a parent, of really just how important particularly the early years are for children's futures.”
“And how critical it is, everyone looking after children at a critical time, teachers, parents, and everyone who’s caring for them, how important it is that we get it right.”
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