We all know television isn't good for kids. That's a given. But most of us -- including me -- do allow our children to watch television from time to time. We need the break, they need the distraction, and the television makes a handy compromise.
Reports claim that up to two-thirds of children age eight and older have televisions in their bedroom.
I may be the laziest parent on the planet, but I will never, ever allow my child to have a television in their bedroom.
Television just isn't good for kids. It promotes inactivity, can interfere with homework, playing outside (or inside) with friends, and spending quality time with the family. Children who watch violent television are more likely to be aggressive and may also fear that the world is a dangerous place. In short: too much television is NOT a good thing.
This is why it's so important for parents to monitor our children's television habits. When we remove that control, by putting the television in our kids room, we lose our ability to limit what kids watch and when. All parents should have a good idea what programs our children watch. This ensures that our children don't accidentally watch a particularly violent program or accidentally stumble across the pornography channels.
Rather than going to bed on time and getting enough sleep, children with televisions in their bedrooms have a multitude of sleep problems. These include resistance to bedtime, anxiety about sleeping followed by shorter sleep duration and a delay in the onset of sleep. Sleep is key for a child's development, and any causes for sleep issues should be eliminated wherever possible.
Most importantly, television watching can impact school performance. One study found that children who had TV sets in their bedrooms scored significantly lower on school achievement tests. Some studies have implied that too much television can actually hinder a child's later ability to get a college degree.
My kids may hate me for it. In fact, I'm sure they will. But I'm also sure that it doesn't matter - their future is more important than being seen as the "cool" mom.
What do you think? Do you have a TV in your kids room? Why or why not?
Image via Elizabeth/Table4Five/Flickr