Kirstie Allsopp has defended her decision to smash her children’s iPads, citing the abuse she has received since doing so as just one of a number of reasons why she doesn’t regret her decision.
The Location, Location, Location host said on Monday that she took the drastic measure after her children, Oscar and Bay, broke agreed rules around screen-time. The revelation, on ‘Jeremy Vine On 5’, led to the presenter deactivating her Twitter account after being targeted with online abuse.
Writing in the Daily Mail on Saturday, Allsopp said she did not regret breaking the tablets against a coffee table leg in front of her sons, aged 10 and 12.
“If anything makes the case for keeping young people away from computer screens, it is the abuse I have received this week,” she wrote, adding: “The viciousness with which some people have responded is out of all proportion to the alleged offence.”
As a result of her disciplinary measure, Allsopp wrote that her sons were now reading more, playing more chess, watching more movies and arguing less.
While having had the iPads fixed so movies can be watched and photos accessed, Allsopp said they will “never be returned to the boys” and told how she wants her sons to experience the risks of the real-world: “My boys have access to motorbikes, all sorts of knives, old swords, axes and tools.”
In the column, Allsopp detailed how her sons reacted on the evening she broke their iPads.
She wrote: “That night, Oscar lay in bed with big fat tears pouring down his face. ‘You are supposed to be in charge of everything that makes me happy, how could you do that?’. It was heartbreaking. I cried, too. But I explained that nothing good could come of staying indoors playing computer games.”
Allsopp’s comments came as government adviser Ian Bauckham urged parents to leave their mobile phones on the kitchen table at night as an example to their children.
Bauckham, who advises ministers on relationship and sex education in schools, said parents should “not be checking their phone 12 times during a family meal”. He also implored them to be involved in their children’s use of social media.
Bauckham told the Daily Telegraph: “Make sure all computers are switched off at least two hours before bedtime. Don’t allow internet access in the bedroom, particularly not mobile phones, and all mobile phones – including Mum’s and Dad’s – get left on the kitchen table when you go to bed,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
Read Kirstie Allsopp’s full column here.