Signs that show Kate Middleton has evolved from a ‘precious’ to ‘playful’ parent
RAISING children is never easy, especially when this is done in the public eye like Kate Middleton.
Body language expert Judi James has revealed the secret signs that show how the Duchess of Cambridge’s parenting style has changed from ‘cautious’ to ‘laid-back’ as she’s had her three kids.
Throughout the Jubilee weekend cheeky Louis stole the show – from his antics on the balcony watching the flypast to shushing his mum in the royal box at the Platinum Party.
While many parents would baulk at Kate’s apparent refusal to reprimand her youngest, Judi says the Duchess has adopted a “hands off” approach.
“Children will tend to see or hear a suggestion but delete the word ‘don’t’ and just do it anyway,” she explains.
“So the apparent lack of pre-warning signals from Kate probably helped her keep control.
“She seemed to know how and when to stand back to encourage confidence and when to supply the small strokes and touches or reassurance when necessary.”
Judi adds that both Kate and William “use this predominately ‘hands off’ approach, knowing when to offer small tie-signs to boost the confidence of their two older children in particular”.
“The signs are subtle enough to feel subliminal to their children, rather than making them feel they are being pushed around and told what to do,” she says.
Here’s how we’ve seen Kate’s parenting style develop, from their early royal tours to bringing Prince George to Wimbledon for the first time this year…
The ‘ming vase’ first-time mum
In this shot of Kate, William and a young Prince George on their Australia tour in 2014, Judi said “Kate seems to be suffering from the ‘Priceless porcelain’ syndrome.”
She said Kate is pictured “carrying a very young George with all the care of a very precious and very fragile vase.”
Judi added: “She is also role-splitting, mirroring William’s intensely interested eye-gaze and body lean to show the pair as a like-minded royal double-act, while also keeping her wriggling son happy and safely clamped to her torso.
“She holds George facing front, presumably so the press and fans get a good view, but the visible muscle tension in her arms suggests the two-handed lift could feel awkward for her.
‘Tense’ protective mum
Kate and George enjoyed a day at the charity polo in 2014, and Judi said there are still signs of “tension” as Kate tries to stop her toddler from running off.
Judi explained: “Her back-bend and intense face-watching might not be too comfortable for her.
“She holds George’s wrist as though keen to guide him, but also keen to allow him to feel he has his own space and freedom.”
The relaxed, ‘fun’ mum
Judi said that although Kate has clearly adored being a parent from the moment George was born, it’s since Louis appeared on the scene that she’s shown non-verbal signals to suggest she is now such an experienced and laid-back parent.
The body language expert claims Kate can actually throw herself into the fun and share it with the kids rather than just keeping a careful eye on them.
She said: “We’ve seen Kate in almost perma-laughter mode recently and when she is with her children she plays in a very spontaneous-looking way that almost out-strips all three of them.
“By the third child, like Kate, all those movements will have gone into muscle memory, meaning they’ll be done with the kind of experience and confidence that makes them sub-conscious, rather than over-deliberate.”
‘Beaming confident’ mum
Holding Charlotte at the Regatta it’s Kate with the very wide-opened mouth grin of almost childlike fun and enthusiasm, according to Judi.
This body language is also seen in the piggy-back race with Kate enjoying play as much as her husband and children.
Judi added: “It’s the lock-down pose that really shows the distance Kate has travelled in terms of her parenting body language techniques.
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“There are now no visible signs of the ‘Swan-in-the-water’ mum who manages to look calm and elegant on the surface but with her feet paddling away underneath.
“Kate now stands confidently and very centrally to the family pose, lifting Louis on her hip but with little or no apparent arm effort to suggest she’s struggling with his weight at all.
“She even seems able to hold him with her wrists while clapping the carers at the same time, suggesting very high levels of experienced confidence.”
Proud guiding mum
Prince George attended his first Wimbledon this year, and Judi said: “Kate uses a series of ongoing tie signs , i. e small touches, to help cue George through his official greetings and handshakes at Wimbledon.
“She pats him gently to let him know when to move forward and mimic her own greetings and she appears to be helping to prompt some small talk between George and their hosts.
“Her beam of utter pride as she gazed down at George lets everyone, including him, know of her confidence in her son to get all the rituals right.
“This is probably also one of the most important aspects of her parenting. While she’s happy to encourage and reward her son with the fond touches, there are no glances of anxiety or any over-prompting to compromise his confidence.
“Kate even leans in towards her son with an arm round his back to make him feel like an equal.”