This Morning viewers have taken to Twitter to voice their anger towards parents Fiona and James Kent, after they caused controversy with their comments on technology addiction in children.
Ruth and Eamonn revealed the results of a UK survey that showed 27 percent of 4-14 year olds become verbally and aggressively abusive when their devices are taken away from them. This could just be labelled as regular childish behaviour, but many are concerned that these tantrums are ‘withdrawal symptoms’.
Parents Fiona and James Kent appeared on the show alongside addiction expert Mandy Saligari. Mandy said that she often consults with parents that are struggling with this problem, and that the issue is widespread.
‘One of the most common questions I get from parents is around technology – and it is in kids as young as four, five or six… parents are extremely busy nowadays, they resort to technology as a babysitter – short term gain, long term problems.’
James revealed that his son, Joe, won’t sleep if he hasn’t been allowed to play with his Xbox during the day, and his wife Fiona spoke about how Joe once smashed a television and angrily punched his fist through a wall during an argument about the Xbox.
‘When he was to lose [a game], that’s when the temper would come – he was never aggressive to us, the family, but he had a brand new telly for Christmas, and because of his temper, he put his fist through the telly and the bedroom wall.’
Joe appeared on the segment via the phone, and said that the games he plays make him angry because he gets to a certain level, and then loses everything he’s worked for. It also affects his social life: ‘I don’t want to go out or anything’ he said.
Viewers weren’t very sympathetic towards the parents, taking to Twitter to discuss the issue, shame James and Fiona, and hold them responsible for their child’s ‘addiction’.
‘This is parents blaming technology rather than themselves. If you don’t like technology, simulate your child yourself. #TechAddiction’ wrote one user.
‘My kids aged 5,7,8 don’t get the chance to dev a #techaddiction They’re busy doing age appropriate activities! @itvthismorning #lazyparent’ wrote another.
Others felt that the segment was ridiculous:
‘#thismorning feelings of shame over console addiction?! What is this woman talking about! People – get a grip!’ wrote another user.
Do you think your kids are addicted to technology? Let us know in the comments below!