KATE Middleton is often praised for how impeccably-behaved George, Charlotte and Louis are in public, and a parenting expert has said she has a very distinct style as a mother.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, is a “lighthouse mum”, according to broadcaster Sue Atkins, and has special ways of making sure her young children feel confident and assured.
Sue told Fabulous: “‘Lighthouse parents’ provide a strong place of certainty in the storm for their children - a light that guides them, to make sure that they don’t hit the rocks.
“They are parents who set guidelines for their children while giving them enough freedom to be themselves.
“The Duke and Duchess have talked about disciplining their children by means of a ‘sofa chat’ which is a typical ‘lighthouse’ style of guiding, and nurturing the children towards acceptable behaviour.”
The parenting expert added: “Another ‘lighthouse’ technique is to give children positive attention shown when Kate is often seen bending to her children’s height to communicate, playing with them joyously and spending quality time with them to grow and nurture their confidence.
“The lighthouse style of tuning into them and making them feel more grown-up and independent rather than shamed or embarrassed.”
Sue added that being a lighthouse parent is about setting boundaries and allowing children to work within them, while providing a stable, secure foundation for them.
She added that parents such as Kate will not dictate everything they do, or make boundaries so suffocating that the children can't breathe, but instead, setting the rules and expectations.
Kate will step back and guide George, seven, Charlotte, five, and Louis, two, until they can steer for themselves.
She added: “It's about un-extreme parenting.”
Sue said that Kate’s technique appears to be highly successful in raising kids who are third, fourth and fifth in line to the throne.
The author explained: “The three children appeared confident, articulate and totally adorable on the recent David Attenborough video asking him questions about spiders, nature and our planet, and that comes from Kate and William building their self-esteem, confidence and curiosity.
“Prince William and Kate Middleton are very relatable royals and they often share relatable anecdotes about their children – from Prince George’s favourite film to Princess Charlotte’s favourite snack – and they often discuss their parenting techniques too.”
Kate isn’t the only famous “lighthouse” parent, and Sue said that Giovanna Fletcher and Michelle Obama have the same style in raising their kids.
She explained Michelle raises Malia, 22, and Sasha, 19, to have their own freedom, and said: “Michelle’s style is all about raising independent, empathetic, kind and compassionate people.
“She talks about not wrapping the girls up in cotton wool and helping them learn from their mistakes which is typical lighthouse style of parenting.
“She has the ‘let go and let them learn the ropes’ style while going alongside her daughters in case they fall.
“She speaks of instilling the right values in kids early on, not making excuses for them while lovingly supporting them – all typical lighthouse techniques to raising happy, confident, resilient kids.”
Meanwhile Giovanna has a similar method for raising Buzz, six, Buddy, four, and Max, two, with husband Tom Fletcher.
Sue said: “She talks about guiding, nurturing and encouraging Buzz to share, but rather than just telling him off when he doesn’t.
“She guides the boys with lots of love, fun and has said ‘Good manners are so important – in fact some of the first words we taught the boys were please and thank you! That said, every child is different and they are going to have good days and bad days, so I think part of being a parent is riding the wave and just doing the best you can.’”
“Having breakfast together and sticking to routines and schedules for meal times gives her boys their stability and structure – revealing her lighthouse approach to providing stability, security and playing with her children shows she’s always around shining and steering the boys in the right direction.”
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