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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.
Kai’s Football (soccer here) tournament set up!!! When Dads away .... we all have to go along!! pic.twitter.com/B6zZXJ43kW
— Coleen Rooney (@ColeenRoo) May 26, 2019
“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.
Sad sad sad. Out in the glorious sun and you've them glued to a screen.
— Marie (@Marie_30) May 27, 2019
Let technology look after the children while mum is posting on social media.
— andrea boardman (@Andrea85x) May 26, 2019
Why is a small child sat playin on an iPad. No wonder more an more kids are growing up with absolute shit social skills. Cringey to look at
— Craig Wilson (@Craig21Wilson) May 27, 2019
“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.”
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.”
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 🥳
It’s a hot day they are in the shade chilling out what’s the issue.
— sarah booker (@Sarah_Booker29) May 30, 2019
Fabulous. Not surprisingly young ones don't want to spend hours watching their siblings in every game and as a parent if you want to actually watch you need your others to be safe entertained. It's called juggling the needs of everyone and it's what you get in a busy full family.
— Sarah Street (@Sazstreet) May 30, 2019
This is perfect there shelter from the shade got there snacks and playing on there games
I got 5 kids and think this is the only way to keep them entertained and content for a short while x
— Kirsty Long (@kirstylong26) May 30, 2019
Oh my god you judgemental bunch of shits first thing you jump on like your kids never watch iPads!! Amazing mum of 4 boys all prob into their own thing and your juggling life making each child happen by supporting Kai doing his thing! Keep doing what your doing kids are happy x
— lisa cook (@LisaRose1982) May 27, 2019
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.
We are a tournament in the Baltimore area this weekend! Wondering if you guys are at the same one? This is us trying to keep the siblings busy as well! pic.twitter.com/hRgqC0jnZ3
— Jennifer Pennell-Ajie (@JennyJen1312) May 26, 2019
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.”
😂😂 calm down, calm down... yes my children have and use iPads!!! 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 and spelling apps are used all time by kai and klay ... check them out 🤪
— Coleen Rooney (@ColeenRoo) May 30, 2019
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.
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.
What do you think?