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Why the Duchess of Cambridge’s parenting skills were spot on during the jubilee

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Kate Middleton

FRANK AUGSTEIN | POOL | AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 06/10/22

Kate Middleton had to do some extreme parenting in the most discreet way as the world looked on.

One of the charms of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee was getting to see more of the Cambridge children, George, 8, Charlotte, 7, and Louis, 4. Watching them navigate the world of royal duties was adorable, relatable, and a little nerve-racking — especially for their parents, William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

However, when certain images of Prince Louis behaving in a less than regal way were shared within seconds across the globe, Kate’s parenting skills were called into question by certain people. This demonstrated that age old issue of people being too quick to judge, and also, the need to really put ourselves in others’ positions before we declare what is right or wrong.

Instead of criticism, I think people should be praising the Cambridges for sharing these precious moments with royal fans, and congratulating them on having some pretty wonderful children, especially when you consider the nature of the jubilee events.

Right from the start of the four-day celebration we saw the children sitting in their carriage giving appropriate waves to the crowds (except for Louis who was reminded by big sister, Charlotte, to stop). Then we got to see them all bow their heads in honor of the national anthem. So far, so good.

Later we saw the three youngsters on the balcony at Buckingham Palace next to their great-grandmother, the Queen. And it was here that Louis really showed his personality.

On this rare occasion where the younger royals played a prominent part in the celebrations, four-year-old Louis couldn’t control his emotions. He was seen busily chatting quite naturally to Elizabeth II, and there are very few people who will forget the now-iconic image when he held his hands to his ears to block out the planes roaring above his head.

Many found the honesty of Louis’s expressions to be natural and endearing, and were happy to have a little glimpse into life beyond all that stuffy protocol. And, when you look at the size and importance of the events, the three children all did a fabulous job.

Then Charlotte and George went with their parents on a trip to Cardiff in Wales to meet lots of people, join in an orchestra, and learn the ropes of taking part in royal events. The youngsters, with their parents’ guiding hands, did a great job at coping with all the media attention.

After a few days of what must have been very tiring events for the children, the public then saw the three of them at the Jubilee Pageant. Over a number hours the children watched a colorful and fun parade, surrounded by their extended family. But for little Louis, the event proved a little tricky at times.

The media shared endless photos of the youngster as he shared his boredom, happiness, and annoyance throughout the event. All the while, with numerous cameras zoomed in on the young family, Louis’s mom, Kate, was trying to discreetly manage her active youngest child.

Unfortunately the moment when Louis became annoyed and made faces,

here
and covered his mom’s mouth with his hand, was captured by the cameras. Quickly the images zoomed around social media and every armchair parenting expert decided to weigh in.

Some parents believed Kate had done a wonderful job of containing her son’s outbursts, while others shared that if it had been their child they’d have dealt with him firmly on the spot … and worse.

However, while it must have been particularly difficult to parent a fed up four-year-old in front of millions of people, Kate actually did a great job in dealing with her son. Between a gentle hand on his shoulder, the cutest of secret kisses, some quiet persuasion, and distraction techniques, the duchess managed to calm her son down.

Far from the cameras, we have no idea what Kate might have said to her son once they returned home. Personally, I think when a child is obviously distressed there is no point in adding fuel to the fire, especially in public. In fact it’s more beneficial to let things calm down and address situations in a more measured fashion. And as experts point out in Parents magazine, there are a number of ways to deal with tantrums, depending on the child and situation.

And of course, it’s important for us to realize that we can’t appreciate how stressful it is to parent in the glare of the public eye. How many of us would like to have every meltdown our children have had documented for the world to see? I believe the duchess showed loving parenting skills that shone a light on kindness and patience — something that’s not always easy to find when dealing with our kids.

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