During a live streamed conversation on Saturday about personal healing with author Dr Gabor Maté, the Duke of Sussex spoke about his four-year-old son, Archie, and one-year-old daughter, Lilibet, whom he shares with wife Meghan Markle.
During the Q&A portion of the event, one event guest asked for advice on how to raise children to be “kind, emphatic, and humble humans”. In response, Harry said how important it is for children to feel “love” and be given the opportunity to “be themselves”.
He also said that children should be given “rules” to follow and shared how he and Meghan respond to their children when they’re frustrated about something.
“If they have a moment of frustration, allow them to have that, and then talk to them about it afterwards,” Harry explained. “When they start and you say, ‘Do not do that,’ that’s not helping.”
He said his take on other people having moments of frustration is that “more of us as adults should be encouraged to have these outbursts, even if it’s into your pillow.”
The duke then said that expressing his anger into a pillow is “a practice [he] would love to be able to get into” and that “kids having those outbursts is part of growing up”.
He emphasised how vital it is for “love” to be felt in a household and that children can sense the different energies that their parents have with each other.
“If you ever have a disagreement or you realise the energy is off between the two of you…If you have the ability to be able to, take it to a different room,” Harry continued.
He noted how he and his spouse don’t like the “idea of having [their arguments] in front of the kids”. He also “assumed that [his] parents,” the late Princess Diana and King Charles III “had a lot of those in front of [him],” which “may be where” his perspective on disagreements comes from.
Elsewhere in his conversation with Maté, Harry reflected on his childhood and how it impacted his parenting style. He spoke about the lack of hugs he received from members of the royal family as a child and how it has encouraged him to be a more affectionate father.
“It leaves me in the position now, as a father of two kids of my own, to make sure that I smother them with love and affection,” he said. “Not smother them to the point where they’re trying to get away and I’m like, ‘No, come here I need to hug you.”
He continued: “I, as a father, feel a huge responsibility that I don’t pass on any traumas, or any I guess negative experiences, that I’ve had as a kid or as a man growing up, and that’s work. That’s putting in the work and that’s daily being cautious of my behaviour and my reactions to both of my kids.”