A "chat sofa" might sound like a talk show you half-watch while scrolling through Instagram, but it's actually a parenting technique that Kate Middleton and Prince William reportedly use on Prince George (6), Princess Charlotte (5) and Prince Louis (2).
So, what is it? Turns out, it's a less punitive form of time out.
The Sun reports that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have some strong opinions about how kids should be disciplined, specifically that they're not fans of the “naughty step,” which is apparently how Brits refer to time outs. “There’s no ‘naughty step’ but there is a ‘chat sofa,’” a source told the newspaper. “The naughty child is taken away from the scene of the row [fight] or disruption and talked to calmly by either Kate or William. Things are explained and consequences outlined and they never shout at them.”
According to the source, Will and Kate are disciplining the kids alongside Maria Borrallo, the nanny who's been with the family for years (yes, even through the quarantine). The source says, “Kate and William, along with Maria, are strict with the children but have this magic ability to appear not to be. It is a military operation but you would never guess it because they work ferociously hard on their children’s upbringing and making it seem relaxed and happy for the three of them.”
While none of this has been confirmed by the palace (so you should take it with a grain of salt), it wouldn't be the first time one of Kate's techniques inspired a host of parents. Case in point: Her signature communication move, which has been adopted by Meghan Markle, Anne Hathaway and others.
Whether she's speaking with her children, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, or chatting with kids at a royal engagement, she always bends down to meet their eye-line. Why? Well, making eye contact with children fosters open communication. By meeting kids eye-to-eye, the duchess doesn’t assert her dominance and instead encourages children to express themselves on equal terms.