entertainment

"Sorry, Kate Winslet. You're right, but sometimes, I just need to give the kids a screen."

Kate Winslet says she has completely banned all forms of social media use for her kids.

In an interview with the Sunday Times, the Oscar-winning star of the The Dressmaker, said she believes social media has “a huge impact on young women’s self-esteem.”

“Because all they ever do is design themselves for people to like them… And what comes along with that? Eating disorders. And that makes my blood boil. And is the reason we don’t have any social media in our house.”

Kate Winslet has three children, Mia aged 15, Joe aged 11 and Bear, 22 months. She also revealed that she and her husband try to cut down on their family’s usage of phones and tablets.

“Let your kids climb trees. Take the device out of their hand. Play Monopoly!” Winslet says. “You go to a cafe and grown-ups are at one end of the table and children the other, on devices, not looking up.”

“It takes every member of a family to be a member, and there are too many interruptions these days – and devices are a huge interruption.”

Now while Kate was quick to say she does not want to come across like a “spokesperson for being anti-digital”, and that she’s not “another celebrity on a soapbox thinking they’ve got the answers” – to me it sounds a bit like she is. 

Kate Winslet believes social media creates negative body image issues for women.
Kate Winslet believes social media creates negative body image issues for women. In 2003.

But she is right, of course…

Kids these days typically have too much screen time and social media is completely fraught with issues for adults, let alone children or teenagers.  I can see how an approach of “just cut it out” makes sense to her.

But we are not all millionaire movie stars, with flexible hours and unlimited dollars for nannies to entertain kids while we work.

I admire Kate Winslet and her message is a healthy one – but I am just a little bit tired of parents telling other parents how they should live their lives and parent their children.

You are not a demon parent because you let your toddler watch Peppa Pig on the iPhone while in the check-out line at Coles.

Good luck with that, Kate. Kids kind of like iPhones. At least, the ‘old’ ones baffle them. (post continues after video):

You are not setting your child up for a lifetime of failure if you let them play on the Ipad so you can meet that urgent weekend deadline for your job. The same job you need to keep so you can pay the bills and keep a roof over your child’s head.

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You are not a bad parent because you let the kids watch a movie on the weekend when it is raining so you can clean the house or have a quiet cup of tea.

You are probably going to be judged – by people like Kate Winslet – but like me, you can probably live with that.

kate winslet and body image

Often when people fear something it is because they do not completely understand it. I think that happens a lot with social media.

It is unrealistic in today’s world to ban older children from social media. They are going to grow up and enter a workforce where they will need to understand how it works.

Also sometimes when children are deprived of something they simply become more obsessed with it.

And it’s a bit rich to lay all the blame for creating negative body images for women at the feet of social media. It is certainly not the single culprit. There are many others – magazines, Hollywood, schools peers – just to name a few.

So thanks for the tips, Kate but I will be continuing to use “my screens” for those ‘break glass’ moments you have as a parent and I am more than happy to be judged for it.

Kate Winslet and Ned Rock'n'roll.

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