Manage toddler tantrums just like the royal family!
The way Kate Middleton handles her children is setting new parenting goals for all of us!
Who is not smitten by the newest members of the British Royal Family? No doubt, the children are adorable, but the charm comes from the way the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine Middleton handles them in public.
She is a brilliant woman. Not only is she down to earth, she also cares for the people and is not shy mixing with the proletariat. She is often seen accompanying her husband, Prince William to various charity events. Both of them are the torchbearers of the work started by Lady Diana.
However, the thing that makes her most attractive in my eyes is her style of parenting. And it is quite obvious from the way the children are being brought up. They are often seen wearing their dad's or uncle's old clothes and accessories. My wife just told me that the clothes they wear are not the most expensive ones that one can buy. The royal children are not spoilt by 'designer' choices.
But, the real test of a parent comes when the child throws a tantrum. Royal or not, children are, at the end of the day just children. They are going to be tired, hungry, irritated by all the travel. It happens to all of us. However, there is not a team of photographers behind us, trying to capture the grade-3 meltdown that our child might have on the pavement!
Case in point
Last month, according to a report, the family was on an official tour of Germany and Poland. Right towards the end of the trip, the family was to board a helicopter at Hamburg airport, Germany.
Maybe she was exhausted, or she was not in the mood, Princess Charlotte had no intentions of entering the helicopter. One report says that she fell down just before entering the helicopter. Whatever the reason, she paused on the tarmac, stomped her feet and refused to board the helicopter. When things did not go her way, she just decided to have a meltdown right on the tarmac!
It must have happened for less than a minute, but it has been photographed and might not go away for a long time. From the perspective of the mum, this must have been an embarrassing event. However, she did something that we all should learn from.
Kate's way of handling tantrums
Like I said, toddlers are going to show a bit of a personality even if they have blue blood in them. And rightfully so, as manners cannot and should not be enforced on children till they are old enough to understand 'why' they are not supposed to do a particular thing.
And probably, the mantra of the Dutchess is 'behave as normally as possible'. This is a difficult task as someone is always recording her public life. That said, royalty brings in you an ability to not be affected by the cameras around you. And this is what the mum did.
She applied the classic technique of calming a toddler.
- Instead of getting angry, she started chatting with the princess in order to distract her.
- She went on her knees and appeared accessible to the grumpy princess
- She did not rush the process. Instead, she talked to the princess, changed her mind, and with the help of her husband, carried the princess on board.
In the face of a meltdown
Toddlers are going to have meltdowns anywhere you go. The best thing to do in such cases is not to appear flustered. Children can sense anxiety in parents. Even infants start crying if someone who is unsure of himself tries to hold the baby. It is like a reflex. The baby senses that a less confident person might drop her, so she ends up crying till someone who is confident enough lifts her up.
In similar fashion, toddlers are not going to be pacified by someone who is himself flustered. So here are three things you need to do to handle a tantrum the 'Duchess of Cambridge' way
- Remain calm in the face of chaos. When you are calm, it transcends to the people around you, including your toddler.
- Go down to the eye level of the toddler.
- Talk in a gentle soothing voice and try to distract the child.
Once the tantrum is over though, try and give the child a snack, or let the child nap for a bit. Chances are, his mood will improve dramatically after it!
Republished with permission from: theAsianParent Singapore