Mums defend Coleen Rooney after criticism for allowing children to use iPads at football match

·Freelance Writer
Coleen Rooney sparked criticism after allowing her children to play on iPads during a football match [Photo: Getty]
Coleen Rooney sparked criticism after allowing her children to play on iPads during a football match [Photo: Getty]

Numerous parents have defended Coleen Rooney after she faced criticism online for allowing her sons to use iPads during a football match.

The mother-of-four posted a photograph of children, Klay, six, Kit, three, and Cass, one, enjoying screen time on her Twitter account.

In the image, the brothers can be seen with their heads down playing on iPads while their older brother, nine-year-old Kai, played in a match for Bethesda SC.

She captioned the family snap, “Kai’s Football (soccer here) tournament set up!!! When Dads away.... we all have to go along!!”

The image soon sparked a debate online with a number of the 33-year-old’s followers criticising her parenting skills.

READ MORE: Limit screen time to an hour a day for under 5s and none for babies and toddlers, parents advised

“Sad, sad, sad,” one wrote [sic]. “Out in the glorious sun and you’ve them glued to a screen.”

“Let technology look after the children while mum is posting on social media,” another added sarcastically.

But others were quick to defend her, emphasising that it can prove difficult keeping three children entertained - especially while solo parenting.

“This is perfect they have shelter from the shade got there [sic] snacks and playing on there [sic] games,” one wrote. “I got [sic] 5 kids and think this is the only way to keep them entertained and content for a short while.”

READ MORE: How to tell if your child’s screen time is a problem

Another commented, “The parents criticising I take it you don’t have kids? If you do they don’t have some form of technology? Whoopie for you.”

One social media user even went so far as to share a photograph of her children sitting beneath an umbrella playing on an iPad in a similar manner to demonstrate how helpful it can be.

Amid the controversy, Rooney also decided to speak out against the backlash.

“Calm down, calm down... yes my children have and use iPads!!!” she tweeted. “And even my 15-month-old watches Peppa Pig on one would you believe!! They come in handy sometimes and can be very educational. Mathletics [sic] and spelling apps are used all time by kai and klay... check them out.”

According to a recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), babies and toddlers should not be left to passively watch television or use electronic devices.

While the organisation does not recommend more than 60 minutes of screen time per day for children aged between two and four.

The warning aims to tackle inactivity, as it remains the leading factor in regards to childhood obesity.

READ MORE: Should parents use apps to track their children’s whereabouts?

But the NHS emphasises that this isn’t a one-size-fits-all problem.

The UK's Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) does not set time limits for different age groups due to a lack of evidence in the negative effects of technology and highlights that screen time allowance is an individual’s choice.

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