When it comes to parenting techniques there will always be different strokes for different folks. Each and every one of us hails from various cultures, families, and religions, making everyone a unique individual and placing emphasis on different aspects of life. When it comes to bringing up our children no two mothers are the same and who is to say that one is right and one is wrong? We are all just moving through these years doing the very best that we can. Right or wrong?
As different as we seem to be, we are all united in one common goal and that is to NOT royally mess up our children. Now imagine trying to bring kids up in the brightest public spotlight possible, as a Royal mother or father. Royal parents have it way harder than us commoners when it comes to mothering. Even when they want to enforce certain parenting practices, they simply can't do whatever they want. They are bound by hundreds of years of tradition and rules that they must follow in order to fall in line and not get the stink eye from the Almighty Queen herself.
14 Christmas Is NOT About The Kids
The magic of Christmas has almost become synonymous with childhood. There is nothing quite like waking up on Christmas morning and tearing down the hallways to see what old Saint Nick has left you. For the children of the Royal family, however, there is no Christmas morning under the tree followed by an entire day devoted to playing with all of the toys Father Christmas brought. The Royal Children have to open gifts on Christmas Eve, specifically at tea time. The winter holiday is always spent with family at Sandringham House in Norfolk. Christmas Day is reserved for a fun-filled day of church services and listening to the Queen Grannie's super boring speech to all of England. Tradition trumps childhood joy when it comes to the Royal children's Christmas experience.
13 Gifts Aren't Guaranteed
The Royal babies get a LOT of gifts. William and Kate's Baby George was the tiny recipient of over 800 gifts when he made his debut into the British monarchy. Just because gifts were addressed to George though, didn't mean that he made out like a baby bandit. Even if he had his adorable little eyes on something shiny, that wasn't enough to guarantee the toy would automatically fall into his hands.All gifts given to members of the Royal family technically belong to the ever-mighty Queen Mother. She holds all the gift-receiving cards and ultimately decides who keeps what. Considering George received a pet alligator for his birth, this arrangement is probably not always a bad thing. Furthermore no matter the gift, the Royals must always graciously accept what is given to them.
12 Hungry? Too Bad!
There is a long-standing rule in the British monarchy that states that once the reigning monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth, is done eating, everyone else is done too. How hungry can she even be? She is in her nineties! Poor George and Charlotte better learn to scarf their meals down swiftly or they might have to starve! In this family, there is no time to mess around during meals. The Royals simply don't tolerate toddler-driven food-stand offs like we mortals do. Aside from timing your bites with the Queens, the British Royals also refrain from eating shellfish because of its tendency to cause food poisoning and there is never any garlic kept in the Queen's residence. She apparently hates the stuff with a fiery passion! At least no one at the table has garlic-breath!
11 The History Of Homeschooling
Up until the People's Princess, Diana rolled up into Buckingham Palace and shook the dust off of the stuffy family's rules and traditions, the Royal children were strictly home-schooled at Buckingham Palace by a tutor and a governess. Diana changed up this rule, along with a whole lot of others, when she decided that her sons, William and Harry, would become the first members of the Royal family to attend an educational institution outside of the palace grounds. William and Kate's four year old son George is now following in those footsteps and currently attending Thomas's Battersea. While the Royals have been approaching education in the same manner forever, tides seem to be turning with first Diana and now Kate who are both princesses with commoner roots and down-to-Earth mannerisms.
10 Straighten Up, George!
Kids are notorious for not being able to sit still for longer than three minutes at a time. They win the award for being the ultimate wiggle worms. Royal blood or not, many a child has been known to slouch in their seats, roll around on the floor and sit down in the middle of nowhere to inspect an ant hill or a piece of trash. Toddlers are nothing if not unpredictable like that. However, royal parents have no tolerance for this kind of toddler moseying around. The children born into this prestigious family are taught strict posture etiquette from the very beginning. The tots are expected to have straight spines, chins slightly lifted with their feet placed shoulder width apart. If they are sitting down, their feet must be flat on the ground with their knees lightly bent. Wow. Here I am trying to get my toddlers to stop licking the walls!
9 No Twinkies EVER
Those poor castle-bound kids are being deprived of sugary, chemical-laden, packaged goodness on a daily basis and my fat little heart breaks for them. The royal babies cannot eat any foods that are not prepared fresh and thanks to their Grand-pap's obsession with clean eating, everything must be organic. I'm all for making sure my children get the best start to life and this includes fueling their tiny bodies with healthy snacks and meals, but there is something to be said for balance people! No one will be dropping dead from chowing down on a Ho Ho every now and again! I want to slip those kids a box of Little Debbie snacks like you wouldn't believe. We have a sneaking suspicion that if anyone is going to stretch this dietary rule though, it will probably be William and Kate. They are definitely rebellious royals when it comes to parenting.
8 Raised By Nannies
While Kate and William seem far more involved in the day-to-day raising of their babes, it is tradition that nannies do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to taking care of the royal babies. Because the royal parents have so many duties, full-time nannies are a must. Those little ones probably miss mum and dad a lot more than the average child. Until that tiara-wearing rule-breaker Diana showed up, royal parents preferred a hands-off approach to parenting. Of course, the occasional outlier existed in British history, but for the most part Kings and Queens were not exactly known for being cuddly, bedtime story reading, bathtime giving machines. Kate and William are certainly looking at changing this aspect of royal parenting though. It is rumored that they shunned the idea of a night nurse and made sure it was their faces that baby George saw when he woke up hungry in the dead of night. Rock on, Cambridges!
7 Feeling A Bit Chilly? Tough.
When typical kids are feeling chilled we bundle them up tight. Most parents will also go for comfort over fancy digs for the sake of their tiny babe. Royal parents don't give a rip about cozy onsies though and you will never catch little George and Charlotte running around the palace grounds wearing fairy wings, rain boots and capes. This is just another reason my family would never last a single day living as royals. Baby boys born to the Royal family wear shorts - all of the time! Pants are far too middle-class suburban for the classiest kids in all the land and in the English culture, trousers are reserved for older boys and adult men only. Normally the accepted age for young boys to transition to trousers is around the age of eight. Just a few more years of freezing your tush off little George, and then you can cover up those tiny legs of yours.
6 Family Game Night Looks Different
Apparently the Royal family has a long standing issue with the timeless classic board game Monopoly. There is an actual rule forbidding it, so even though William and Kate's royal children are too tiny to throw the dice now, they will never truly know the joy of landing on both Park Place and Boardwalk and owning those bad boys outright. It's a strange rule to have, but the rumor is that the game has a tendency to become too heated and can cause intense quarrels among family members. We suppose that this is one way to make sure that the peace is kept within this close-knit clan, but with so much scandal surrounding the royals over the last few decades, one would think that they would have bigger fish to fry.
5 Country Over Children
Historically, royal parents place country and duty before parenting. William and Kate and their predecessor Diana are the exceptions to this long-standing practice, so perhaps tides will be turning in the near future in this respect. Royal parents were so absent in their little ones' lives that Prince Charles didn't have his father attend one of his birthday parties until he was five years old. Furthermore, he once welcomed his mother home from a six-month stint abroad by waiting in line to greet her. Instead of running to her son and embracing him, as most of us would do, she had to first shake the hands of the many dignitaries waiting in line before him. When he finally had the chance to see his mother, he got a handshake instead of a hug.
4 Fancy Form Of Corporal Punishment
Some of the most critical royal watchers have even gone as far as to hint at royal children being victims of a sort of hurting. While most people think of abuse in terms of physical or emotional violence and torment, some claim that loads of demands and rigorous training placed upon the very young children are similar to what crazy pageant moms do with their children. They are drilled from the time they can stand, to smile, wave, be gracious and never make a scene. This is not normal childlike behavior. Many critics of the royal family believe that the tiny children born into this family are indoctrinated and brainwashed before they can even learn to think for themselves. They are born into a lifetime of rules and service, whether they like it or not.
3 Protecting Privacy Is Not On The Agenda
Most parents consider protecting their children's privacy incredibly important, especially considering that today's youth is being raised in a world run by social media. Royal children sadly have very little privacy due to the nature of their public lives. Little George goes nowhere without an entire security team on his heels. Him and his sister have a handful of security guards any time they leave the sanctuary of the palace nursery. No one is watched by the public more closely than the royal children. Everything they do is commented on and critiqued by millions of onlookers. I can't even get my daughters to walk through the grocery store without having a full-blown meltdown so I can't even begin to fathom the pressures these kids are under to be perfect at all times.
2 Follow Your Heart...Kind Of
In general, parents want two things for their children: to live healthy lives and to be happy in whatever they choose to do. As kids grow up we encourage them to live out their dreams and do what fulfills them. While we are sure that the overwhelming majority of royal parents want these things for their offspring as well, not all dreams can be followed unless specific permission is granted. These children grow up with roles and duties to perform and that means country comes before matters of the heart. If royals fall in love and want to marry the woman or man of their dreams, they must first be granted permission from the Queen herself. No one gets an invitation into this family without a nod from Granny, so prospective spouses better turn on the charm when the Queen is around.
1 Dismal Yet Logical Family Trips
Is there anything more warm and fuzzy than the memory of a good old family vacation to the lake with all of your siblings, suitcases, and even the family dog piled into a van, headed out for a warm week of fun in the sand and sun? For most children traveling with your parents is a given. I would never even dream of putting my child on an airplane or train without sitting right beside them in case they got sick or scared or even bored. Then again I am not a royal, not even close! Royal parents are not supposed to travel with their heirs in tow. The reasoning for this is simple. Should there be an assassination or an accident, the monarch would not want two heirs done in at once. For now, little George can travel with his father, but when he turns twelve, that practice will cease.