Why My Kids Won't Ever Have A TV In Their Rooms


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

activities, behavior, kid activities, kid health, kid sleep, technology


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Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I'm conflicted on the subject. Definitely not now (my kid is only six) but maybe in the future. It very much depends on the kid. I know I would have gone nuts as a kid without my own TV. My mother is the soap watching type and I was the documentary watching type with a little scifi thrown in for variety. She was also the going to bed at 9pm type and nobody could watch TV in the living room after that time. If my kid had a good reason I would allow it but we like the same stuff for now.

nonmember avatar Tonya

My kids both have televisions in their bedrooms. They're both stellar students and athletes. Both have great social lives. Maybe all of that adds up to not much tv time, but I don't see that televisions in their rooms have hurt one bit. This is yet another parenting issue that some people love to get all sanctimonious about. Don't let them have one, do, I could care less. Just don't judge me because I do. Oh, my kids also have cell phones and iPads. Gasp.

nonmember avatar Shannon

Yes, both of my children have TVs in their rooms...was it a horrible judgement call? YES...But hindsight is 20/20 and removing the said TVs from my darling children's rooms has proven to be the most difficult damage control of mine and my DH's parenting journey...What started as a "band-aid" for my 2yr old's night-terrors (Finding Nemo on VHS was the only thing that would bring her back to normalcy), turned into a huge headache with Big Time Rush singing back-up...Don't do it!! And while it had never affected their grades or test scores, it HAS affected their sleep...which makes absolutely no sense, I know...

kelti... kelticmom

My son has watched Nick Jr and PBS kids at my mom's while I work since he was six months. He is now 3, knows the entire alphabet, counts to the thirties, all shapes, colors, some spanish, a lot of phonics, can rhyme words, reads small words by sounding them out, etc. So TV has really been like a preschool, minus the germs, tantrums, etc. So I have mixed feelings. Obviously my mom interacted with him while he watched and reinforced the lessons, not just plopped him in front of the set.

Brook... BrookieCookie1

I don't know if I would. I don't like to use the word "never" becuase under certain circumstances, who knows? I do know that since we put tv's in the vehicles for each kid, traveling has been nicer.

buffa... buffalove23

Maybe if parents start parenting and stop blaming tv no one would be having these issues...

I'm one of four...all four of us had tv in our room, all four of us are/were honor students, social, athletes and well adjusted. Why? Because my mom decided to be a parent and set rules about the tv.

bjh1970 bjh1970

Nope. They don't need it. My kids are 8,5, 3 and 6 months. The two oldest are boys and they share a room. They usually read a little before bed. That's it. The oldest has a  didj (sp?) but that's only allowed sporadically. And they have a wii, which they can play on weekends only. The rest of the time they need to find a way to entertain themselves. they can watch a show in the family room, although I limit it to 30 minutes a day. There's always Legos, books, coloring, playdoh, practicing their instruments, poking at each other until I scream, or just laying on the couch watching the fan blades rotate. It's good to be bored a little sometimes. I'm sure many kids turn out fine having had a TV in their rooms, but I think on the way to becoming rocket scientists, they missed a lot of sleep and watched a lot of inappropriate stuff and there's just no need for that. Sometimes I hear my boys talking to each other at night, and it's so sweet because they're usually driving each other crazy. but when the light goes off and there's nothing else to do, they trade secrets and wishes and ideas, I hear my older son giving my younger one advice on how to navigate kindergarten and what it means when a girl <hearts> you, sometimes it's all I can do not to laugh out loud. And those are moments that they'd never have together if there was a TV blaring away.

AliNo... AliNoelle

My older boyos have tv's in their rooms. But no cable. They can bring a dvd in their and they have their own gaming systems hooked up. It's handy when DH and I are wanting to watch something in the living room that isn't kid appropriate or for when they have friends over. They however are NOT allowed to spend all day in their rooms. They have to play outside till it's dark or raining almost every day.

Senia... Seniahmom

So not in the plan - at least I'll never buy it for them. If they're terns and work for it then that can be discussed then. No need for more than one tv in the house.

Eques... EquestrianMom

My son has a tv, in my bedroom! The only reason he ever gets to watch tv in our room, rather then the public living room, is when he and I both want to watch a kids show and SO is watching something else (mainly, football). And my son started out with baby einsteins, little einstiens, and nowadays mainly watches pbs shows, and once in a while we watch a good pixar or disney film. I do (I know, bad parenting!) use PBS to amuse him while I clean, do dishes, fold laundry, ect, and he doesn't want to help me, but I'm usually able to hear the show, sing with him and the tv, and reinforce what the show is asking, and we do a feedback game, where I ask what happened " I couldn't hear over the dish water, what did curious george do? How many _____ was he counting? Can you count it for me?" so the shows are not just veg out time, just a different learning experience! 

 I will not put a tv in his room, mainly because I want to supervise how much and what he watches, and because I like what tv we do watch to be an us thing, not him closing his door and watching spongebob! LOL! 

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