Prince William Is Every Dad Worried For His Daughter's Tween Years

by Valerie Williams
Image via Jeff Spicer/Getty Images

Prince William’s recent comments about his little girl echo those of most dads

As the parent of a young child, imagining the difficulties of their tween and teen years can be daunting. When you look at a sweet, innocent baby it’s hard to think of a time where they’ll talk back or tell you they hate you. But it will happen. Even if you’re actual royalty, it will happen.

According to E!, Prince William told several reporters at a recent rugby match about life since the May 2015 birth of daughter, Princess Charlotte. He shared that things are going “very well” with two young children in the house. “No broken bones so far but they are trying, running around and pushing things and jumping.”

Of his little girl, he jokingly added, “Please tell me it gets easier,” but went on to say, “Charlotte is very easy.”

Even a “difficult” baby is easy, however, when compared to the drama of the tween and teen years. William said, “But all the fathers say to me, ‘Just you wait, when they get to nine or 11 they get crazy.'”

As the mother of an 8-year-old girl who’s always been sweet as pie but has recently turned somewhat sassy, I can vouch for that. Most days, she is still that baby girl who smiled so easily at all the silly songs I sang to her but some days, she is very dramatic and tweenage. And I have to admit — it makes my heart sink a little bit.

What Prince William said was most definitely an off-the-cuff remark to a bunch of reporters but there’s a bit of truth to it that any parent will recognize. Things do get a little crazy. And the baby and toddler years are difficult, but precious.

As parents, we try to enjoy it and live in the moment. To love their innocence and giggle at how they say “liberry” instead of library. Even as they’re tantruming at the grocery store or refusing to put on shoes or throwing their spaghetti on the floor, they’re still innocent. And all ours.

All too soon, their primary concerns will be impressing and keeping up with their friends. Before we know it, we won’t be the coolest person in the room anymore — far from it. Of course, they’ll still love us, but we’ll have to share them with the rest of the world.

And although it’s very different from when they’re little, there is a lot to love about those tween years with both boys and girls. Prince William can look forward to thoughtful conversations with his daughter like the one I had with mine the other day about standing up for a friend who’s being teased. As your kids get older, you get to know what’s in their heart and on their mind — and amid all the crazy, there’s a lot of wonderful things too.

Prince William must already know that because as he finished talking with the reporters, he closed by saying, “I’m looking forward to it. There will be some drama.”

Yes, there will. And there will also be a whole lot of amazing.