Most parents nowadays understand the pain of telling their children, time and time again, to put down their iPad, turn off the computer or stop using their mobile phone at the dinner table. However one British TV presenter’s rather strict way of dealing with that exact situation has set tongues wagging.
Appearing on Channel 5’s Jeremy Vine show in the UK on Monday, Location, Location, Location star Kirstie Allsopp – who is mum to sons Bay Atlas, 12, and Oscar Hercules, nine – confessed to destroying her sons’ iPads after they continuously disobeyed her rules on using gadgets.
The 47-year-old said she resorted to such drastic measures after she kept catching her boys playing on games, such as Fortnite, outside of their allotted screen time.
Allsopp said: “This is the first time I’ve said this publicly. In June I smashed my kids’ iPads, not in a violent way. I actually banged them on the table leg.”
She added: “There is a game called Fortnite and another called PUBG and I decided . . . we had made all sorts of rules and all sorts of times when we said you can’t play them and all those rules got broken and in the end I said ‘Right that is it, I have to physically [break them]’.”
Vine’s co-host Storm Huntley approved, saying: “I like that, that is my kind of parenting.”
Many parents also rallied round the TV star, revealing they had done – or been tempted to do – the exact same thing to their own children’s gadgets. One said: “Good on her. They need to be taught that there are rules, and if you break them there are consequences.”
While another commented “I done something similar with one of my son’s dvds. Gave him a warning that if he didn’t tidy them up then I would break them up and throw them out….. Only had to do it to one, same with his pokemon cards!” [sic]
However, not everyone agreed with her parenting style and some people were quick to condemn the presenter for not teaching her children the “value” of such items, with one writing: “I take it Kirstie Allsopp (who smash her kids iPads) doesn’t plan on teaching her kids to value what they have & look after it as they are fortunate to have nice things in life while others don’t even have food, water or a home. Great parenting Kirstie.” [sic]
Allsopp makes no secret of her strict parenting style, having previously admitted that she flies premium economy, whilst her young sons sit in economy.
Last month she also made headlines after she revealed that Bay and Oscar won’t get a cent of her £16million (AU$28million) fortune, in the event of her death, unless they work hard for a living once they’re older.
Kirstie, who is married to property tycoon Ben Anderson, said she feels lucky they have managed to make as much money as they have, and she doesn’t want her sons to ever be in any financial trouble themselves. That being said, they’ll have to work for it.
“The privilege of the money we’ve earned is that the kids can do what they like,” she told Prima magazine, according to the Mail Online. However, she added: “I’d be horrified if they didn’t work and wouldn’t give them a penny.