‘It’s Bad Table Manners’ – Frankie Bridge Sparks Debate Over Her Use Of iPads To Keep Her Kids Happy In Restaurants

The former Saturdays star shared a relatable social media post, in which she admitted to relying on iPads to keep her kids happy - but received a mixed response.

Frankie Bridge

by Daisy Jordan |
Updated on

You'd think that parenting would be a doddle for celebrities, but Frankie Bridge this week proved that she faces the same struggles as the rest of us when it comes to keeping her kids happy.

The singer, who has two children - Parker, 6, and Carter, 5, with husband Wayne - admitted the realities of dining with kids on Instagram, sharing a photo of her enjoying a glass of wine while her boys were sitting either side of her, fixated on their iPads. She captioned the picture, 'The reality of dinner out with the kids... I’ll admit it... I’m an iPad Mum... swore I never would be... but here we are... the boys are happy... we’re happy... we’re all happy!!! Cheers! and Bon apetite'.

It's not often that celebs paint an honest picture of parenting - in fact, quite the opposite. The Kardashians, who presumably have nannies at their beck and call, often post pictures of them looking utterly flawless with their kids kitted out in designer clothes, while Vogue Williams made it look so easy when she popped to the shops mere days after welcoming her second child with Spencer Matthews, Gigi. So for many, it was a relief to see Frankie being real.

The former Saturdays star received hundreds of comments praising her honesty, including one that read, 'thank you for being honest and real makes me not feel so bad'.

Another said, 'Yes Frankie! I have three and said it would NEVER be me, but OMG thank god for the tech!'

However, as expected, Frankie received criticism from some disapproving followers, including one who commented, ‘Gone are the days when Italian restaurants in particular would allow kids to draw on the tables. I think it’s okay whilst they are really young but when they are that bit older it’s good for them to be engaging with adults.’

Another then added, ‘We have never allowed ours to have a screen at the dinner table... screens at the table are rude and quite frankly lazy parenting. It’s bad table manners as far as I’m concerned.’

A third person also wrote, ‘There’s no need for children to use screens at a restaurant table, it’s weird it’s the new normal. Just chat with them, ask them questions. If they can’t sit there, don’t take them.’

The World Health Organisation last year advised that children under the age of three shouldn't watch TV or play games on a tablet, while those aged three or four should have their screen time limited to an hour a day.

Instead they suggested that face-to-face interaction was more beneficial for small children's development, to include reading to them, playing games and physical activity.

Interestingly, this was disputed by UK experts. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health's Dr Max Davie at the time said, 'Without the right support in place, striving for the perfect could become the enemy of the good.'

Dr Tim Smith, a reader in cognitive psychology at Birkbeck, University of London, also waded in on the debate, saying, 'In recent months UK parents of 0- to five-year-olds and early-years practitioners have been bombarded with conflicting recommendations and guidelines about how and whether they should be managing their children’s screen time and sedentary behaviour … The release of new WHO guidelines does not help to clarify the situation.'

It looks like the debate isn't going to end any time soon - but in the meantime, we can't help but feel relief at seeing Frankie going through the same struggles as the rest of us.

READ MORE: Frankie Bridge Was 'Relieved' To Be Admitted To A Psychiatric Ward In Her Early Twenties

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