Melania Trump, whose husband is known for controversial tweets and personal attacks on critics online, has called on adults to "take the lead" and encourage children to develop "positive habits with social media and technology." Speaking at a White House luncheon for spouses of governors on Monday (26 February), the first lady said it is important to limit the time spent by children online and the content they are exposed to.
"It is important that as adults we take the lead and responsibility in helping our children manage the many issues they're facing today," the first lady said. "This means encouraging positive habits with social media and technology, even limiting time online and understand the content they are exposed to on a daily basis."
"I am asking you all to join me today and commit to promoting values such as encouragement, kindness, compassion and respect in our children," she continued. "With those values as a solid foundation, our kids will be better equipped to deal with many of the evils in our world today, such as drug abuse and addiction and negative social media interactions."
Since Trump vowed to make cyberbullying one of her top priorities in November 2016, many have criticised the first lady in light of the president's relentless tweets.
Since taking office, President Trump has frequently name-called opponents on Twitter, retweeted a bizarre GIF showing him take a swing at a golf ball that hits Hillary Clinton in the back and triggered serious concerns after deriding Kim Jong-un as "Rocket Man" and threatening to "destroy North Korea".
Last week, 14-year-old Lauren Hogg, a survivor of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, begged Melania Trump to stop her stepson Donald Trump Jr. from "cyberbullying" her family. The president's eldest son had "liked" two tweets promoting a conspiracy theory about Hogg's 17-year-old brother another survivor.
Twitter immediately slammed the first lady over her "ironic" and "hypocritical" speech and urged her to begin inculcating the message at home.
"Melania Trump is calling for parent's to limit KIDS on their social media. She should start with Donald Trump," one person tweeted.
"Girl, you need to just STOP commenting on social media & bullying," someone else wrote.
Another said: "Please Take a lead & help your husband & stepsons in develop positive social media habits FIRST, then talk to us."