kids

This is what Kate Middleton is really doing when she bends down to talk to Prince George.

Watching Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge on tour in Canada highlighted one of the couple’s favourite parenting techniques (and confirmed how great Kate Middleton’s fashion choices are).

You might have seen this picture of Kate bending down to talk to her son, George.

It’s not the only time she’s been snapped in this pose, either.

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Both Kate and William appear to be adherents to the idea of “active listening” and use it regularly with their little ones.

Active listening is considered a really great way to engage with your children, and make them feel like their voice is being heard.

Listen: On our parenting podcast This Glorious Mess, Holly Wainwright and Andrew Daddo discuss the parenting technique. 

How to do it

You need to be on your child’s level (hence the constant bending down) and look them in the eye. Make sure when they’re talking, you’re giving them your full attention (no phone in your hand, endlessly scrolling) and try and give them a meaningful response to their questions, and address their concerns.

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When to do it

Obviously this technique isn’t for every situation. Sometimes not answering questions or not paying attention can be a good tactic (like whenever your toddler is throwing a tantrum for attention) too.

But experts agree that when a child is trying to talk to you about something, it’s important they feel like they’ve been heard. And it helps you build strong, trusting relationships with your children.

Seems like a pretty good reason to put up with a public scolding from the Queen of England.

Video via Jo Briggs

Don’t worry William, Barack Obama is on your side with this one.

This post originally appeared on our sister site Spring St.

Listen to the full episode of This Glorious Mess here: