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Cricketer Shane Watson says giving your kid an iPad is “lazy” parenting.

Chatting to Stellar, the former Australian cricketer said he found it difficult to get his two children, Will and Matilda out of the house.

“We were always trying to get our kids into programs, whether it was kinder gym or sessions at the library,” he said.

“It was about getting them out of the house, [which was] very challenging.”

His comments relating to parents using screens as a distraction has sparked some outrage.

“You can really fall into a lazy way of parenting where you go, ‘Oh, well, I’ll just sit on the couch and watch what I want and give the kids an iPad’.”

Comments include:

– “My children have used their iPad to assist with their speech therapy. Unless Shane and Barbie know better than my speech therapist with over 40 years of experience, I think I will trust the therapist.”

– “Why not do both? Go to the beach for three hours and then come home an chill out and watch ipad for an hour. What’s wrong with that. Not that much worse that zoning out to TV or a movie. It’s all about balance, not saying one way is better parenting.”

– “My kids ride to school most days then ride with their friends after school and on weekends, we pretty much live at the beach and are frequently at the park. Guess what they all have some kind of iPad device that they also love playing. Every thing in moderation I say and also each and everyone of us parents differently so who do they think they are telling others what they are doing is wrong!?”

– “Oh please. We’d never go out for dinner or shopping again without the iPad. He can do what suits him but to label it lazy parenting – I disagree. Sometimes it’s smart parenting.”

Shane has started Let’s Activate, a program that requires children to get moving through sport and dance.

Meanwhile wife, Lee, has written  a children’s book, titled Nothing Happens Outside.

The story revolves around two young siblings- loosely based on Will and Matilda- whose phone falls into a toilet, requiring them to head out of the house in order to occupy their imaginations.

Lee says that she wants her kids to grow up spending their days outdoors like she did.

“Every day we’re at the park [or] the beach having a good time,” she said.

“It’s nice to focus on family, and Will [4] and Matilda [2] are at ages where when you’re not with them, you miss so much.”

Do you think it is lazy parenting to give kids some downtime and a distraction?

I am not ashamed of my parenting choices. I think the most important thing for a parent is to be confident in their decisions.

My boys use devices, but they are also outside climbing trees, kicking a ball, riding a bike, swimming at the beach and generally running amok a huge percentage of each day.

A bit of device time during their quiet moments certainly doesn’t make me, OR them, lazy. Does it? What do you think?

Share your comments below. 

 Image: Instagram

  • I know a Mum who used to put her small baby in front of the TV in a bouncer and forget about her until she literally scream for a feed. If the baby just cried a bit she ignored her. Not wonder the poor baby had such bad nappy rash, sometimes even blistering.

    Reply

  • I agree! Any screen time is lazy! I am so over my in-laws thinking that a TV is a babysitter any time they look after the kids. I was trying to bring them up with no TV and the occasional movie or program on DVD of my choosing but they just don’t respect this. What is annoying is they do it when they don’t really have anything pressing to do and could take the kids out into the backyard and play with them.
    What ever happened to playing a game of catch?

    Reply

  • I agree with him. My son has never had ‘screen time’ beyond abc kids when I’m trying to clean. He’s a dream to take out with us anywhere now. I think tablets are fantastic for kids with special needs but otherwise give your kids lego or playdoh or something and exercise their imagination as well as their brain.

    Reply

  • Ha! Ha! By mistake I thought the cricketer was the mother!!! :-)

    Reply

  • He sure has a point, but I agree that a bit of device time during their quiet moments certainly doesn’t make us lazy and can actually be good for a child.

    Reply

  • He has a point of over use of technology for young ones as a distraction, parents have always taken the easy route to entertain their children, I grew up glued to the tv.. so I do believe it can be classed as lazy parenting but I think it could just be managed better. Time restrictions of technology use for both parent and child!

    Reply

  • He does definitely do have a point.

    Reply

  • Each to their own, each situation is different & to criticise with that knowledge is a bit unfair.

    My 7 year old has an Ipad she got it for her birthday but we are a family all with ipads. We think we balance quieter ipad time with plenty of outside activity time + inside “craft’ & play time.

    I think it can compliment what they learn at school as many use ipads these days from prep onwards.

    Reply

  • For me it depends on how much time we are talking about. If staying on the iPad is the only thing the kids do all day.. yes… I would agree with her. But I don’t think most kids do that.

    Reply

  • I don’t see it lazy parenting when I give my kids quiet time or when they are sick with an ipad.
    Sometimes famous people need to keep their mouth shut and worry about their own children.
    My son has his ipad a little more than other children for his learning difficulties. you just need to manage the time and what apps to use.

    Reply

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