William admits 'we're making it up as we go' on big parenting issue

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were in Manchester to talk about digital media and children. Source: Getty

A glowing Duchess of Cambridge and husband Prince William just got a taste of how it’s going to feel with three children in the house – they were surrounded by them at an engagement in Manchester.

But the prince was there to speak about a very serious issue, which is clearly at the forefront of his mind as he prepares to become a father for the third time.

The royal couple were at the Children’s Global Media Summit in Manchester to talk about the impact of digital media on children, meeting many youngsters and listening to them talk about their experiences.

As Catherine looked on, looking festive in a red swing dress, which she wore under a grey coat in the chilly city, along with sensible opaque tights and black court shoes, Prince William explained the couple’s own hopes and fears about raising members of “the first generation of digitally-immersed children”.

 

His Royal Highness said in his keynote speech: “Parents like Catherine and me are raising the first generation of digitally-immersed children – and this gives us many reasons to be optimistic about the impact of technology on childhood.” The Duke talked about how, whilst digital media has seen young people develop a passion for civic involvement; “What we cannot do, however, is pretend that the impact of digital technology is all positive or, indeed, even understood. “We have put the most powerful information technology in human history into the hands of our children – yet we do not yet understand its impact on adults, let alone the very young.” And The Duke also spoke about how parents feel they have to make up the rules as they go along. “We can be hopeful about the future of our society when we all know that protecting the essence of childhood remains our collective and urgent priority,” His Royal Highness said. #cgms2017

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He said that digital media had been great for helping young people become more knowledgable and involved in their wider community, but that he was alarmed at the way society was diving headfirst into technological advancements without knowing how they may impact children.

“What we cannot do, however, is pretend that the impact of digital technology is all positive or, indeed, even understood,” he said.

“We have put the most powerful information technology in human history into the hands of our children – yet we do not yet understand its impact on adults, let alone the very young.”

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He pointed out that parents felt like they were making up the rules as they went along when it came to technology and children, and urged listeners to remember that “protecting the essence of childhood” was a key priority.

William and Catherine’s third child is due in April 2018, a sibling for Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

The duke and duchess looked as strong together as ever at the event in Manchester, with William putting a protective hand on Catherine’s back as they arrived, as she frequently put her hands on her growing baby bump.

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The two were smiling broadly as they greeted the crowds of children and children’s TV characters, before sitting down with groups of kids to discuss their experiences of the media and technology.

Prince William also attended a private meeting related to the Cyber Bullying Taskforce and The Royal Foundation, while Catherine went to a Sesame Street Workshop to explore the research work the program’s makers are undertaking.

Do you agree with Prince William’s points on technology and children? How does your family manage the kids’ use of devices?