parent opinion

As a parent with a child with ADHD, this is what those photos of Prince Louis made me feel.

I was doing my nightly scroll through Facebook, idly scanning the headlines as I half watched Netflix when I came across a headline which referenced The Duchess of Cambridge's parenting skills, or lack of should I say, and how "out-of-control" Prince Louis was during the last day of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations.

It read something along the lines of “there is a fine line between a cheeky, willful child and a child who shows no respect to their parents and the boundaries set”. 

Watch the Queen and Paddington Bear during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Post continues after video. 

Video via Daily Telegraph.

I am sure most of us have seen the pictures and other headlines about how hilarious the young prince was, how he ‘stole the show’ and how many parents related to his four-year-old behaviour. 

There have been countless pictures of the very animated young prince showing us exactly how he was feeling. Showing us exactly how many four-year-olds would act, right? 

But as the parent of a child with ADHD, this particular headline immediately caught my eye. 

Willful child? Cheeky? Out of control? Tick, tick, tick in my parenting experience to date. 

Intrigued, I clicked on the article and expected it to read tamer than its headline. To my surprise and subsequent anger, it was not. 

In fact, the article continued to bash the Duchess’s parenting, implied she should not have taken her four-year-old to the event and quoted numerous people who claimed the Duchess obviously knew nothing about early learning seeing as her son was so poorly behaved.

My blood boiled. 

Regardless of who the Duchess of Cambridge is, she should not be shamed for her four-year-old’s behaviour, nor should a four-year-old be called “disrespectful” or “rude” simply because they were unable to sit robot-like for hours watching a pageant they probably had little to no interest in whilst bombarded in every literal sense by the sights, sounds and energy around them. 


Listen to this episode of Mamamia Out Loud, where Mia, Holly and Emma discuss the Queen's Jubilee celebrations. Post continues after podcast.

It reminded me of that which I, and those like me, are trying to change in this world – that children like ours who are wild, cheeky, individual –  are not always welcome on the world stage, or in fact, in society at times. 

People do not want to see a child being a child. It's so inconvenient and distracting! 

People do not want to see a child not listening to their parent. How uncomfortable and triggering! 

And some people do not want to be gentle with a fellow mum – most especially if she is in a position of privilege or power because, well, she should have her s**t together and shame on her for being human! 

The article reminded me of all the ridiculous notions surrounding what a “good kid” is and what a “bad kid” is and how easy some find it to point the finger at the child’s mum for her “terrible” parenting skills. 

That article reminded me of all the hate and lack of education out there surrounding differences in early childhood behaviour. 

So, to counter that hateful message, I will simply add to the chorus of other well-meaning articles normalising little Prince Louis’s behaviour and the calm, controlled energy reflected by his mother. 

Having a child who is so individual you have no choice but to sit back and watch in awe, can be a beautiful thing. 

Your child shouldn’t be bullied or shamed into fitting their square selves into the round holes set out in front of them. If your child isn't hurting themselves or anyone around them, they should be free to be a four-year-old – after all childhood is gone in the blink of an eye.

Prince Louis had every right to be at that pageant as his parents saw fit, and the Duchess has an army of fellow mums who know exactly what it feels like to have a child who sometimes makes other people uncomfortable. 

No one ever grew from being comfortable and we take solace in the fact that we, alongside our amazing children, are constantly learning and opening ourselves up to becoming kinder human beings who welcome individuals for who they are, not what they lack in society’s narrow view. 

Let’s hope more people join us in this cause. 

Rachael runs the Superbrains & Big Love ADHD support group on Facebook and Instagram.

Feature Image: Getty.