Parenting Advice for the Royal Couple
Raising a child is a long-term proposition, and it can be difficult at times as well. Raising a child in the public eye is exponentially more difficult. Every choice the parents make is announced in the media and subject to public scrutiny. What follows is advice for the royal couple as they prepare for the birth of their first child.
1. Nothing you do will be well received by all. There will always be detractors, those who will find something critical to say about anything you do. It is essential that you remain focused on your family; do not let public critique affect the choices that you have deemed appropriate for your family.
2. Assess which activities or issues may be most likely to prompt public critique. For example, regardless of the means by which you choose to redirect your child’s errant behaviors, your behavior will likely prompt public critique. You will be deemed either too lenient or too harsh by various groups of people.
3. Limit your family’s media exposure when your child is quite young and when engaging in activities or attending to issues that are likely to prompt public critique. Limited, well timed media exposure may include attendance at public affairs, family celebrations such as birthdays and baptisms, infrequent media interviews, and the public release of professional portraiture.
4. Assess the risks associated with raising a child in the public eye. Unique or uniquely elevated risks include kidnapping for royal ransom, infanticide as a means of political protest or retribution, and stalking by media and private individuals. Respond appropriately and preventatively to these risks.
5. Hire staff that is well chosen. Security staff, nannies, and other personal attendants must be thoroughly vetted and interviewed. Choose staff members who are well qualified, professional, kind, honest, discreet, and loyal.
6. Do not let affluence and status cause your child to develop a sense of being above accountability for his/her actions. Humility is essential. Teach your child that while s/he has been blessed with resources available to only a precious few, those resources render him/her rather unique but not “better than”. Emphasize the increased rather than decreased accountability that comes with affluence and status. Speak to your child about leading by example and “servant leadership”. When addressing leading by example, ask your child to choose behaviors that would advance the cause of country or humanity if the entirety of the population emulated his/her behaviors. When speaking about servant leadership, emphasize that leaders serve their citizens, who have entrusted their well being to the care of their leaders.
7. Recognize that your child will occasionally find the weight of his/her role to be overwhelming. It is at those times that s/he will need to have an opportunity to shed the mantle of responsibility and become an anonymous private citizen. Find constructive ways for your child to become an anonymous private citizen for a brief period of time.
You are embarking on a journey of parenthood. This journey will be challenging, and there will be great difficulties along the way, but your joy will exceed your trials. Your country and the world are watching; but do not let that sway you from your purpose, which is to raise a healthy, happy child who will grow to lead his/her country.