You may have heard by now the latest Twitter drama revolving TV presenter and mother of two, Kirstie Allsopp who earlier this week revealed that she had smashed her children’s iPads back in June, after they broke her rules about screen time.
Since her announcement, she has deleted (or disabled) her twitter account, due to the backlash her announcement received, as thousands of outraged parents took to social media to vent their fury at her.
The main arguments against what she had done were that her actions were “privileged”, that she should have donated the iPads to charity and not broken them, and that she had set a bad example for her children because she used force.
Okay, here’s what I think:
First of all, I actually applaud her for setting boundaries for her kids regarding screen time in the first place, you know why? Because screen time, social media and all that jazz is probably one of the worse things that has ever happened to the human race, and as someone who works on social media I can tell you that I do not allow my own children (age 7, 5, 5) to use phones and/or iPads AT ALL apart from when we travel and I want to get through a long flight without going nuts. And even then, they get the iPad to watch movies which I downloaded onto the device, they do not EVER have access to the internet. PERIOD. I am sorry, and let me quickly say – no judgment on anyone who chooses to do things differently, but FOR ME – I take a harsh rule because I know that a) it is a slippery slop and once you start it’s hard to go back, b) it will happen at some point so I want to delay it as much as I can, and c) IT IS BAD FOR THEM. And I know there are people who will argue with that, but if we are all being honest, as social media addicts ourselves (me included), we all know it’s bad for so many reasons which I won’t list right now, we just also know that sometimes as parents we want some peace and quite (and that’s okay).
Secondly, I applaud her for ‘following through’, I mean, hand on the heart people – how many times have you said to your kids: “do that again and I will throw it away?” and then done f*ck all when they did it again? We all do it, relax, I’m not hating on you I’m just saying that this lady actually put her money where her mouth is and you know what? that’s actually a great lesson to teach your kids – that when people say something, they mean it. That your actions as a person have consequences, and let’s not forget – don’t mess with mommy.
Sure, she could have given the iPads away instead of smashing them and there were plenty of people who pointed out how many kids in the world do not have iPads, which is of course true and very sad. I will point out though that there are also many children in the world who don’t have food either, yet roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption, which is approximately 1.3 billion tonnes – is wasted EVERY YEAR. Surely the underprivileged kids Twitter is crying about should have food before they have iPads yet I see no outrage over how much food we all waste collectively, why is that?
And as for the using force argument, well for one Kristie stated that she did not do it in a violent manner, but even if she had I find that argument ridiculous. Not only is ‘loosing it’ part of being human and actually, why is it so wrong for our kids to see us reach that point when we’ve just had enough? ‘Anger’, ‘frustration’, and even ‘rage’ are part of a sack of emotions we all have, just like ‘happiness’, ‘joy’ and ‘love’ and I dread to think we can’t expose those sides of ourselves to our children and what effect that would have on them when they experience those emotions themselves and feel tormented for having them. But also, seriously people, how does a loving and caring mother smashing an iPad on her kitchen table even compare to the amount of violence and aggression our kids are exposed to online and in movies?! And why isn’t anyone outraged about that?
The bottom line here is that a parent made a parenting decision regarding their own children. They did not harm their children any more than we all do in that no matter what you do your kids are gonna have some issues when they grow up kinda way. I believe a lot of the backlash, not just in this specific situation but in general on social media, is due to lack of confidence in what we are doing and a need we have to justify our own choices.
Well you know what? hold your head up high, you are allowed to be you, and what other people are doing is their own business and is their own right so just DO YOU and SCROLL ON.