Ben Fogle’s wife, Marina, has sparked outrage after admitting to setting up an accident so that her toddler daughter, Iona, would fall down the stairs “head first” and learn a lesson.
Marina, who has been married to TV presenter Ben for 11 years, made the revelation in her latest column for the Daily Mail, with the star slamming the nation’s “overprotective” attitude when it comes to raising children.
Speaking about her “most haunting” motherhood experience, Marina confessed that she was left stunned when Iona twisted her elbow whilst playing and the nurse at hospital asked if she had ever been visited by social services.
Marina said that this moment is what made her realise that encouraging children to take risks is now classed as “dangerous”, but she is determined to have her children learn tough life lessons the hard way.
Speaking about her pre-meditated decision to let Iona fall down the stairs, Marina shared: “All children will fall down the stairs at some point. I remember when Iona was crawling and she was obsessed with trying to climb the stairs.
“After two months of chasing after her, saying ‘bottom first, darling’, I decided to set up an accident to enable her to learn. I created a soft landing with a handful of dog beds placed strategically at the bottom of four stairs that lead into our kitchen.
“As she approached headfirst, rather than intervene, I let her fall.
“I was obviously there to catch her and make sure she didn’t hurt herself, but the shock frightened her. She cried for a bit but it was the last time she tried to go headfirst down the stairs.”
Marina, who is also mum to seven-year-old Ludo, went on to admit that she doesn’t believe in baby-proofing houses, continuing: “When Ludo was two, he came running into the kitchen and hit his head on the corner of our island unit.
“Horrified, a friend, who had come over for a cup of tea, suggested I go out and buy padded corners – which are seen as an essential part of baby-proofing kit.
“I told her that not only are those padded corners hideous but a key part of growing up is learning from accidents. Ludo never did it again.”
She and Ben also bought Ludo and Iona, now six, whittling knives as a Christmas gift, explaining: “Superficial cuts taught them much better than we could have done to respect knives.”
Although some praised Marina and Ben for their old-fashioned approach to child safety, others slammed the celebrity couple for putting their children at risk on purpose.
One critic tweeted: “This sounds like child abuse to me.”
Another shared a screenshot of an article about Marina’s beliefs and added: “Please stage an intervention on the upper classes.”
Others wrote: “We could always kidnap Marina, and bury her alive, to teach her a life lesson about fear?”
“It’s like they WANT their kids taken away from them.”
“Well this makes me feel a bit better about my apprehension of one day being a god awful mother. Christ alive!”
Neither Ben or Marina have responded to the backlash and Yahoo Celeb UK have reached out to their reps for comment.