It appears that British royal pair Prince William and Kate Middleton are not one with the regal rulebook when it comes to parenting. Starting with their own children, 3-year-old Prince George and 1-year-old Princess Charlotte, the couple vowed to encourage their kids to be honest with their feelings even at the expense of what his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, has taught the prince himself.
Stoicism has long been the guide for royal family's expression of feelings (or non-expression, at that). From the Queen, who serves as an epitome of the antiquated trait, down to the last heir of her name, no royals are allowed to express their emotions, especially during times of weakness.
Prince William and Duchess Kate, however, swore to end this as an effort to promote healthy and open communication within the family. The prince told CALMzine, the official publication of Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM), that he and his wife agreed that a "stiff upper lip" may be allowable for certain circumstances, but never should it compromise the children's mental health.
"For too long there has been a taboo about talking about some important issues," the prince told the mental health organization magazine. "If you were anxious, it's because you were weak. If you couldn't cope with whatever life threw at you, it's because you were failing. Successful, strong people don't suffer like that, do they? But of course — we all do. It's just that few of us speak about it."
The prince added that he and his wife wanted to promote healthy expression of feelings not only for the royal families of different lineages. Prince William said that they want all kids, whether royal or not, to be free in expressing whatever they feel and that they are leading with their children as an example.
The prince witnessed imposed stoicism at a young age with himself, and more so with his mother, Princess Diana, who had been a "rebel" in the eyes of many royals. Like his mother who defied some of the royal rules, this was not the first time the prince tried to veer away from the rulebook, especially when it involved the kids.
Last year, Prince William and Duchess Kate's parenting trick called active parenting made rounds online. It involved kneeling down to the level of a child, enabling them to see the parent's eyes as they speak to each other. At one point, Queen Elizabeth saw Prince William's sweet parenting gesture and the manners-strict grandmother scolded the prince when she saw it.
Childcare expert Kristen Hardin told OK Magazine that kneeling down is a great way to communicate with a child. Harden added that when adults and children meet eye-to-eye and down to their level, kids feel comfortable and it fosters better connection.
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