The clever trick royal parents use to calm their kids in public

Photo: Alamy
Photo: Alamy 

There are times most parents are struck with terror at the mere suggestion of taking very young children out in public. Times that by one hundred if it's an important event like a wedding or funeral.

Spare a thought then for royal families, whose children are expected to attend such events with the cameras of the world directed at them; with whole countries watching their every move. And yet, we've never seen Prince George or Princess Charlotte have a full screaming meltdown at any of the events we've seen them pictured at.

At the end of the day they are normal toddlers, with all of the same mercurial feeings and behaviour tendencies, so what is the secret?

It turns out it's gob-smackingly simple.

Prince William and Kate crouch down to their children to speak to them, giving them their full, undivided attention and eye contact.

It's a trick many of us miss in our rush to calm the kid quickly then go about our day, but if we stop completely, and give our toddlers our complete attention, it will usually have the desired effect.

It should also be acknowledged however, that for children with additional needs, the technique may have other outcomes, so of course it all depends on how you think your child might respond.

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Photo: Alamy

Sydney psychologist Ian Wallace says it's a technique that's 'highly recommended and effective,' for ages 8 and under. Here's why.

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"It reassures your child, through making eye contact, at their level and by giving genuine attention and regard," he explains.

Wallace also notes that crouching also helps the parent to stay calm by connecting successfully with their child.

"It also allows gentler, private interaction, rather than being over-bearing, loud and aggressively dominant, which can escalate tantrums or emotional over reactions."

It's clear that over many generations, it's a trick-of-the-trade that royals pass on as the younger brood become parents. The royal veneer of dignity and serenity can be maintained, and children are comforted and reassured, without really realising they are also being disciplined.

Wallace says, "In being both firm and gentle, it also indicates that the parent means business and also that you are trying to work with them and meet them, at their level."

While it's sometimes difficult to keep your composure with a couple of toddlers testing your mettle, it might pay to take a leaf out of the royal handbook. Try it next time you can feel a public tantrum brewing and see if it works.