A Virginia mom is speaking out after a photo of her and her children promoting outdoor activities in replace of screen time was criticized on social media.
Brooke Raybould, a 33-year-old lifestyle blogger and mom of three, partnered with the allergy medication brand, Claritan, on a sponsored post that was shared in May on her Instagram page, The Southernish Mama. The post was part of Claritin’s The Outsideologist Project – a campaign aimed to get kids excited about the outdoors.
In the photo, Raybould is seen with her kids standing outside in a small body of water. Raybould is holding her youngest as well as a sign reading, “Into the woods we go because kids won’t remember their best day of television.”
A screenshot of Raybould’s post made its way to Twitter in late June by a user who goes by the handle @false_rumors. The anonymous user refuted Raybould’s claims with a tweet stating “feel like this is 100% untrue, which received more than 100,000 likes and several thousand retweets and comments.
“I think it might be that the argument that kids can actually remember or have a good memory using technology and watching movies,” Raybould told Fox News in a phone interview when asked about why she thinks her post elicited a strong reaction.
Brooke Raybould, 33, the lifestyle blogger behind The Southernish Mama tells Fox News she understands that some parents prefer their children to enjoy indoor activities, but she personally prefers less screentime for her own children. (Brooke Raybould)
Some of the commenters disagreed with Raybould’s message – stressing that many fond, childhood moments were connected to screen time.
“Some of my favorite memories are of watching TV with family members who are no longer around,” one Twitter user wrote. “She should make a new sign that says, ‘Who you’re with matters more than what you’re doing.’”
Others came to Raybould’s rescue – dubbing the tweet an act of “mom shaming.”
“…she’s right kids these days spend an OBSCENE amount of time on technology its awful,” one woman wrote.
Raybould said she agrees that technology and indoor activities for children aren’t necessarily bad, but she prefers to encourage her own children to appreciate the outside world.
For example, in the post she shared, Raybould and her sons played games they invented in a nearby wooded area, including “tree friends and water reflections” and “leaf spin.”
“I did love the message of the Claritin campaign because it did align with how my husband and I try to parent our kids, which is focusing on getting them outside rather than increasing that technology time inside,” Raybould explained. “It’s not, non-existent. Our kids watch movies. They watch TV occasionally. It’s not like a taboo thing. It’s just, if we’re going to focus on something, it’ll be to get them outdoors.”
Additionally, Raybould noted she doesn’t judge parents who let their kids stay inside and knows that there are some regions or climates where staying indoors is better.
When recalling her own childhood Raybould said she remembers spending time outside because she lived in Southern California.
Where she lives now in Virginia with her husband and three sons, there’s no shortage of land to explore, Raybould said.
Some critics on Twitter disagreed with Brooke Raybould’s collaboration post with Claritin, which promoted outdoor activities for children. (Brooke Raybould)
Raybould said she’s not allowing online criticism change her parenting philosophy – especially with her sons being in their formative years at ages 6, 4 and 2. She’s expecting another baby in roughly 11 weeks.
“Some parents are OK with more screen time. Some parents prefer less screen time,” Raybould concluded. “I just try to read what is relevant and then think about how I want to parent my kids and kind of try to do the best that I can just like everyone’s trying to do.”
Claritan released a statement to Fox News regarding the Outsideologist Project.
“After a national survey commissioned by Claritin found that 72% of parents believe their families don’t spend enough time outside, the Project was designed with the aim of getting 1.2 million kids to spend an extra hour outside each week in new and exciting ways with fun, educational activities,” Claritin’s emailed statement reads. “The initiative seeks to inspire a lifelong love of being outside, which helps promote overall health and wellbeing.”
The brand has not yet commented on the criticism Raybould faced