Why Kirstie Allsopp smashed her kids’ iPads

Rules are rules: “Nothing good could come of staying indoors playing computer games,” Kristie told her kids.

Did Kirstie Allsopp make the right choice? The TV presenter broke her sons’ iPads after they broke her rules about playing Fortnite. She says it was the best thing she has ever done for them.

What’s happening

Last week, the TV presenter Kirstie Allsopp made a surprising confession. “In June I smashed my kids’ iPads,” she told an interviewer. She said she “banged them on the table leg”, but it was “not in a violent way”.

Many people criticised her for the decision. However, she says she has no regrets.

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Her children had strict rules about when they could play video games like Fortnite and PUBG in the house. When her two sons repeatedly broke the rules, she decided that “enough was enough” — and broke the iPads.

She explained to them that “as long as the games were available, they would always trump outdoors adventures”. What is more, “reading books, which is so vitally important for doing well at school, would always be second choice.”

She claims that once the iPads were gone, her boys spent more time outside, reading and playing chess. “We had a fantastic summer.”

Video games like Fortnite are designed to be addictive. Around 40 million people currently play it each month.

Was Kirstie Allsopp right to stop her kids from joining them?

Some say…

She was wrong! iPads cost at least £300 each, if not more. If one of her children had lost their temper and broken something so expensive, they would have been in big trouble. She is being wasteful and setting a terrible example. Besides, video games are not always bad for you. They can improve your problem-solving skills. Perhaps she should have joined in.

Others think…

She was right. She had threatened to break the iPads if her children kept ignoring her rules, so it would be wrong not to follow through. We still do not know for certain how video games affect our health, but one thing is for sure: they will never be as good for you as getting some exercise or reading a book. More parents should follow her lead.

You Decide

  1. Are video games bad for you?

Activities

  1. How much time should be allowed to spend playing video games? Write down your answer and a sentence explaining your reasons. Compare your answers with your classmates.

Some People Say...

“People love video games because they do things they obviously can’t do in real life.”

Ralph Baer

What do you think?

Word Watch

Confession
Admission; a statement owning up to something you have done.
Interviewer
Someone who interviews other people. (An interview is a one-sided series of questions.)
Criticised
Disapproved of, or found fault with.
PUBG
Short for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
Trump
Not the American president! This is a verb which means to come first, or be better than something else.
Vitally
When something is absolutely necessary or essential.

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