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Zara Tindall's 7 parenting tips: how she's raising Mia, Lena and her new baby

The Queen's granddaughter is expecting her third child with Mike Tindall

Nichola Murphy

Zara and Mike Tindall are expecting their third child – news that the former rugby star revealed will delight their two daughters Mia, six, and Lena, two.

Speaking on The Good, The Bad & The Rugby of telling his eldest child the exciting news, Mike said: "She’ll be happy about it, she’s been requesting another sister or brother, so we’ve hopefully fulfilled that role for her.

READ: The Queen reacts to news of Zara Tindall's third pregnancy

"She just wants something different now, Lena’s growing up she’s two-and-a-half now, she wants something younger to play with and dress up."

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WATCH: Mia Tindall's Cutest Moments

As royals, Zara and Mike are permanently in the public eye, but the down-to-earth couple doesn't let that impact how they raise their children.

So what parenting rules does the royal couple follow? Here's what we know...

Encourage competitiveness

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Competitiveness is bound to run in the family!

With an Olympic equestrian and a former English rugby union player as parents, it's no surprise that Mia and Lena are encouraged to enjoy a bit of healthy competition. On Joe's House of Rugby podcast, Mike revealed his eldest daughter is already showing a keen interest in sport, and he is trying to make the six-year-old youngster "more competitive" by refusing to let her win. 

Over the 2019 Christmas period, Mike was pictured teaching Mia how to surf in Australia before he raced her to the shore. Fellow co-host and good friend James Haskell observed how Mike "flat out beat" his daughter, but Mike defended his actions, explaining: "[I'm] trying to make her more competitive is what I was trying to do." 

Pets help them learn

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Mia and Lena have both inherited their love of horses from mum Zara!

Both of Zara's children have shown an interest in horse riding, even at a really young age. The Queen's granddaughter told Australian publication Now to Love: "They both ride. Lena is in a little basket on the saddle, purely a passenger. But we just bought Mia a new pony called Magic."

And while Mike said pets provide lots of learning opportunities for children, he maintained they would let their daughters make her own choices.

"I love that they have the opportunity of working with animals, being outside, all the traditions that you learn with treating an animal - looking after your stuff, looking after the animals and learning good balance, all those skills you learn - but I think Mia will probably want to do her own thing anyway," he said.

They should choose their own career path

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Mia enjoys many sports, including horse riding, football and tag rugby

Zara and Mike both have exciting respective careers, and any parent would be flattered to see their children take an interest in their passions and follow in their footsteps.

However, Zara has said that she would prefer their children to choose their own career path. "I'm going to keep [Mia] away from horses and rugby," she joked to The Telegraph in 2014.

MORE: Zara Tindall's royal birth stories with daughters Mia and Lena revealed

But riding and rugby are still encouraged as hobbies! Speaking on his The Good, The Bad & The Rugby podcast, Mike said:  "Mia played rugby for the first time this week down at Minch.

"She enjoyed it actually and she's going to do football for the first time this weekend as well. She's a chip off the old block. She just likes to truck it up, but we'll work on that."

Family time is important

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Savannah and Lena spent quality time together at the Festival of British Eventing

Not only are Zara, Mike and their two daughters a close-knit family-of-four, but the royals have also ensured Mia and Lena spend lots of time with their extended family, too. The little girls are often pictured with their cousins Savannah and Isla, including at events such as the Festival of British Eventing in August 2019 where they shared many cheeky moments

Meanwhile, both Zara and her brother Peter Phillips live on the Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire, so their close proximity means their daughters can also enjoy going for rides together.

Mike explained: "She's going through that period where she thinks she knows what to do so we have someone teaching her. Her cousins, Savannah and Isla, and Zara's brother, Peter Phillips, all ride as well and they go riding together."

School gives them structure

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Mike revealed Mia is not afraid to speak her mind

Mike told the Telegraph that homeschooling his eldest child during the coronavirus pandemic had been "nice but also frustrating".

GALLERY: Zara and Mike Tindall's house is nothing like other royal homes - see inside

"Zara still has hopes that the horses will get back, they still need training and working on, so I get to be a teacher in the mornings which is sometimes really nice, sometimes really frustrating," he shared. "I don't think any child is a great home schooler because they definitely listen to other people better than they listen to their parents!"

Let them speak their mind

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Mike joked that Mia likes to let her opinions be known

Zara's six-year-old is not afraid to speak her mind, according to dad Mike. Speaking to England women's national rugby union player Jess Breach on Joe's House of Rugby podcast, the former rugby star joked that Jess' tales of being a naughty student reminded him of his daughter.

"I think I got easily swayed," Jess told him and his co-stars. "I would not be afraid to speak my mind. So my friends would be like, 'say this', and I would and then have to go stand outside."

Laughing at her recollection, Mike replied: "I definitely should introduce you to my daughter, I think she's heading that way!" When his co-star Alex Payne asked him if there were "problems in that department", Mike simply responded: "Freedom of speech!"

Set an example of a good work ethic

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Zara admitted she struggled to juggle work and parenting

Just like the Duchess of Cambridge, Zara has admitted to feeling mum guilt while juggling work with being a parent. In December, the 39-year-old revealed she feels bad leaving her young daughters when she and Mike are both away for work at the same time.

Speaking to Now to Love, the Queen's granddaughter said: "If I'm away and Mike's here I don't feel guilty, whereas if we're both away then I feel much more guilty." With her often busy work schedules, it's clear the doting mum is encouraging a strong work ethic. 

SEE: 9 behind-the-scenes royal wedding photos