BAFTAs: Kate Middleton and Prince William arrive
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Princess Kate is said to be the “boss” when it comes to parenting Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, according to a royal expert. The Prince and Princess of Wales enjoyed half term with their children last week as they took a break from royal engagements. William, 40, and Kate, 41, are believed to have organised activities such as playing sports in the garden and going on long beach walks, with George, nine, Charlotte, seven, and four-year-old Louis, according to former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond.
Jennie, 72, told OK!: “They like outdoor activities, so lots of sport, lots of fun, games in the garden and cycling – they’ve rented bicycles and were seen riding around the Scilly Isles previously.
“Their half-terms are full of things you’d get up to at Girl Guides – bonfires, barbecues, helping out with the gardens and the farm in Sandringham – all the activities are very outdoorsy and there’s a lot of playing.”
She added: “William and Catherine are very hands-on parents, so there’ll probably be some educational play, especially as early development is so important to Kate with her Shaping Us campaign. We’ve seen pictures of them all getting busy in the kitchen, so baking and cooking might be on the list – all the kids enjoy mucking about in the kitchen with Catherine.
“She loves teaching them – it’s a domestic scene. As well as the rough and tumble of the sports, there’s probably a lot of squabbling between siblings. Charlotte’s very keen on football, George also enjoys football, possibly more than rugby. Catherine’s so sporty, I expect we’ll see Charlotte on a pony before long, but I don’t know if she’s learnt to ride yet.”
Jennie also said that George is of an age where he will have a say in what he would like to do every day during the school holidays.
“It’ll be romping around, heading out on a few adventures, going along the beach and generally burning off lots of kiddie energy and enjoying being together. Dancing around the kitchen table could be an option. William has said previously how their daily routine is a portrait of a very happy household.
“One of them will put on some really loud music at breakfast time and all the kids would dance, maybe the parents would join in – it’s not a stiff and formal household. The children have the advantage of being brought up in a relatively normal-sized house in Windsor Estate called Adelaide Cottage.
“It’s only four bedrooms, it’s not a castle or palace, so they’re having as normal a childhood you can have when you’re born royal. Ultimately they’re a very cohesive family that enjoy one another’s company.”
Having fun family time is very important to William and Kate, who tend to go skiing, to the Isles of Scilly or Norfolk when the children are on their school holidays.
Jennie explained that the couple are on the same page with their parenting techniques, but adds that she thinks Kate is the one leading the way.
“They are very much a team, but I think Kate is the boss. She has become synonymous with the ways of bringing up children and their early development – she and William are forward-thinking in their parenting techniques.”
According to reports, Kate and William coined a particular method to discipline the royal children.
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They use what they call a “chat sofa” instead of a more traditional “naughty step” or “time out” to calmly explain why certain behaviours are unacceptable and what the consequences will be. This allows William and Kate to “listen” to the children.
Jennie said, “There is a modern way of discipline, which Catherine has spearheaded, about having respect for your children, and their space, their feelings, their emotions and tantrums. It’s quite a different way to parenting of the past, where you may get cross with the children and tell them off. It demands a lot of the parent.
“Encourage them to talk about all their emotions, good and bad and to ask – as we saw Catherine do in the Shaping Us campaign in the school she visited recently – others how they’re feeling and show kindness and compassion. It’s all about building a supportive, nurturing world around our youngest members of society.
“Catherine is the epitome of calm and kindness and will let the children vent their feelings and explain them. From explanation comes understanding.
“She’s become synonymous with that and is making a big difference. She’s reinforcing the parenting roles and the value of young parents today – many of whom are adopting this valuable technique. It’s so patient. Catherine is really teaching others how to parent and is making a valuable contribution to society.”
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