He was famously told off by The Queen for doing it but parenting experts say Prince William’s technique for interacting with his young son George is something we should all adopt when we speak to our kids.
It’s all about getting down to their level and looking in their eyes when we talk, and apparently it can get kids to listen (yep, really), form deeper connections and boost self-esteem.
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We’ve seen Prince William do it a hundred times. At polo matches, official engagements and even at his daughter Charlotte’s Christening. For the eager paps it makes for a touching photo that will no doubt be splashed around the globe but for William and George, in the centre of all of the madness, it’s a moment of connection and a chance for William as a father to really hear what his son has to say. Perhaps this is why we rarely see the meltdowns typical of a child George’s age?
The Royal Family, shortly after William was told off by Nan. Image: Getty
Famously William was told off for crouching down to speak with George at the Trooping the Colours event the Royal family attended together. Many of us around the world had a little giggle as footage emerged of Queen Elizabeth chastising William for not standing upright, proving that no matter who you are we can all still be put in our place by Nan.
Child Psychologist Anna Oatley says that crouching down to speak to a child is a simple technique that can have a huge impact.
"In our speak it's called actively listening. When we talk to each other as adults we look in the other person's eyes. It shows that we are engaged in what is being said and it's our way of showing that what they have to say is important to us," she says.
"We tend not to do this so much with children because obviously they are a lot smaller than us so it takes effort to maintain eye contact. We're also so busy getting things done and by nature kids can't sit still so our interactions are often on the run. But it can be really helpful in assisting kids to feel like we are engaged with the conversation, that what they are telling us really matters."
Oatley says that miscommunication is often a source of stress for parents and children and when children feel as though they are not being heard they experience frustration which can see them act out. She suggests that if you're having trouble with your kids listening to you, try getting down to their eye level to really hear each other.