Holly Willoughby hit back at TV presenter Ant Middleton over the controversial parenting comments he made about his son crying at school.
The This Morning star clashed with Ant, the Channel 4’s TV presenter of SAS: Who Dares Wins, on the ITV show yesterday, after he admitted he told his son that he should not cry at school.
Talking about his 10-year-old son, Ant revealed to Holly and Phillip Schofield: ‘The other day my son came home from school crying and he said that everyone at school had called him a cry baby.
‘And I said ‘Listen son, keep your emotions in and come home and cry on me. Tell me about it. I’ll help you out and tell you what to do.
‘It’s important that we do control our emotions, if we went around crying every day and being pampered… It’s that resilience that is being docked out of us, it’s important we have that bit of resilience.’
Holly, mother-of-three children with husband Dan Baldwin, hit back at the SAS presenter, with a different view on parenting children.
Holly said: ‘The other way of looking at it would be to tell the other children to stop calling him a cry baby, that would almost be a better way of looking at it.’
The father-of-five attempted to clarify his comments and went on to say: ‘Of course, but you know what kids are like in the playground.
‘There’s no right way of parenting. As long as you feel in your heart of hearts that you are doing the right thing by your son, and my daughter, and my children.’
Ant comments come following his appearance on Giovanna Fletcher’s Happy Mum, Happy Baby podcast, in March, where he made controversial comments about his son, Gabriel.
Ant said: ‘I try and make sure he controls his emotions, I do say to him ‘Son, you’re a little man now, have a stiff upper lip’.
‘I avoid eye contact because the moment he sees me eyes he will start crying, but if it was my daughter I would probably run over to see if she is okay.’
Ant tried to clarify his thoughts to Holly and Phil, insisting he was referring to when his son is practising the sport Muay Thai fighting.
He said: ‘When Mummy takes him and he looks over to her, she pampers him and he breaks down in the ring.
‘When I take him, he does a lot better. He feels a lot more energised and he wants to go back in the ring. And that’s because I teach him to control his emotions.’
He continued: ‘People will take advantage of your weaknesses. Especially kids, they can be so cruel.
‘I don’t teach him not to cry, because we all cry, I cry… But you need to hold back emotion to get the job done.
‘As a parent, I try to do what has served me well and instil that into my children.’
Though, The Morning viewers were torn between supporting the former soldier’s parenting views, or Holly’s.
One said: ‘And what is wrong with him telling his son how to control his emotions?? As long as his son has a safe place to let out his emotions when he needs to then what’s the harm?? We all control our emotions at some point otherwise there would be more chaos in the world than there is!’
Another added: ‘I agree with him totally, I think we should be the same with our girls too. As a parent it is your job to prepare your kids for life in the real world. How are they going to deal with the trials and tribulations if you don’t?’
Others disagreed saying: ‘Of course boys should be allowed to cry part of the reason male suicide is so high is due to people saying stupid things like this .’
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