WE'RE all guilty of giving our little ones an iPad to play with when we're busy cooking dinner, rushing out the door or simply just trying to unwind in the evening.
That said, one woman has been forced to defend herself as a parent after critics labelled her a "lazy" mother for allowing her children to play on the devices.
Australian mum-of-three Laura Mazza, 32, recently shared a post on Facebook where she revealed she'd given her son an iPad to play with while attending a family party.
Explaining how her son was getting "whiny", she wrote: "We were not ready to leave. I tended to my other two children and handed him his iPad to watch some videos."
After this, another guest at the party - who was given the fake name "Cathy" - loudly said: "I would never give my child an iPad, that's just lazy parenting in my opinion."
Although it was Laura's first reaction to jump into defence mode, the mum instead decided to confront Cathy and challenge why she thought it was lazy.
The "smug" woman then argued: "Well instead of actually doing things, people sit on phones instead of communicating, and parents don’t have to parent, they just give them mind numbing devices where they don’t learn anything. Children grow up not normal."
Cathy then went on to explain how she'd raised her children before the internet existed and relied on nearby cousins for them to play with and aunties and uncles to help with storytime.
But rather than dismiss Cathy entirely, Laura then began to explain how she was just trying to "navigate this new world".
She said: "We are having to navigate this world without the support system that once existed. I’ve had no support, no aunties and uncles sitting inside my house. No big village.
"The internet has become my village. And sometimes it’s a cruel one. I can spend time online and I’m already told all the ways I am doing it wrong."
Instead, the mum praised Facetime for how her children can actually see their family in America and how it allows her to "kiss them goodnight when I'm working late."
She added: "I am my child’s village now, so every time you insult a parent, belittle one, or make backhanded snide remarks, you crush my confidence and burn down my village.
"Because if you don’t support a parent in their fears, their struggles, their choices, the life that is presented to them, you certainly don’t support the child. And as a parent of this generation, frankly, we are sick of hearing it."
Laura's emotional post has divided her 245,000 followers and sparked a fierce debate in the comments.
Screentime guidelines for children
- A 2019 study by World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that children aged two to five should have no more than one hour of sedentary screentime in 24 hours
- The report concluded that children less than two years old should not spend any time passively watching screens
- Researchers also encouraged parents to keep their teenage childrens' screentime to under two hours
One replied: "There's definitely a time and place to use technology to entertain /teach children. Granted it's probably being used far too much by a handful of parents, however as a parent we also need to teach our children the skill of being bored. Let them just wait or sit in silence if need be."
Another added: "I’ll admit that before I had my son I would have thought the same thing. Now being a parent I know better. I applaud you for keeping your cool and explaining it calmly to this lady. I’m so tired of mother’s judging each other."
Meanwhile, a third asserted: "If passing your child the iPad is lazy parenting, what is passing your child off to another person? She has no reason to talk. We all need a little help now and then..."
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