Today Show host and mum of three, Lisa Wilkinson has found herself under intense scrutiny from parents after suggesting that those of us who allow our children some screen time under the age of five years old, are ‘crazy’ and that what we do as parents in the early years will ‘come back to bite’ us.
Wilkinson made the comments on the Today Show on this morning with her co-hosts, Karl Stefanovic and Richard Wilkins, when discussing the ‘terrible twos’. Her comments have had many Australian parents up in arms.
“If, as a parent, you allow your children time in front of a screen – you give them iPads, you give them phones – before the age of five … I’m going to be generous, you are crazy,” she said.
She went on to say, “Come back to me when they’re 14 and completely and utterly addicted to their screens, they have no social skills – that’s when you’ll realise what you did early has come back to bite you.”
Watch the video here:
Wilkinson has three children herself – Jake, 21, Louis, 19, and daughter Billi, 18, but some parents have accused the Today Show host of being out of touch and closed-minded.
One commenter remarked, “Terrible 2s is just a name! Every age is hard! I have four boys and yes they like their screen time! Once they get to school they end up with iPads, they like games. My younger kids have learnt a lot through screen time! They also have outdoor time, eating time, having a poo time, playing with their pets time, having cuddles with mum and dad time. Parents are busy these days, a lot pushed into working full time. You say bring back your kids to me when they are teenagers and see what they are like?? Well my two teenage boys had screen time and they are just fine thank you very much!!!!”
“There is absolutely nothing wrong with my children who love their screen time but are excelling in school and in basketball and martial arts and have great friendships!” said another.
But not everyone was reacted badly to Lisa’s comments – some agreed with her wholeheartedly.
‘There’s plenty of games and activities for children to do without these devices including TV. Some parents need to spend time with their kids,” one user wrote.
Is parenting just getting harder?
Parenting in this day and age is more challenging than ever before. Sure, we have all the modern comforts, but many parents lack the feeling of a ‘village’ and some feel isolated and alone in the face of criticism about everything from how we feed our babies and whether we go to work, to which nappies and foods we choose. We can’t win!
Screen time is simply a part of modern parenting and whether we choose to let our children use devices such as tablets, phones and computers or not, we can’t escape the fact that they’ll use them when they get to school, however we feel about such matters. We don’t have to let them use these devices, but we certainly shouldn’t be judged if we do. We’re all doing our best with the tools we have, and if a little screen time means that we can get dinner cooked and on the table with a minimum of fuss, so be it.
What do you think of Lisa’s comments? How much screen time do your kids have each day?