Letting Kids Have TVs in Their Rooms Is Stupid & Not Just Because It Makes Them Fat

Rant 70

kids watching TVAfter hearing about a recent study that determined that kids who have TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to be fat and suffer from heart disease and diabetes, my initial reaction was one of pure shock.

And I wasn't shocked because having their own, personal TV apparently makes kids more sedentary due to more time spent watching said TV, which in turn makes them fat. It was the fact that there are parents who let their kids have TVs in their bedrooms that really threw me for a loop.

Maybe I'm stuck in the stone ages or something, but are there really that many kids out there who have TVs in their rooms that researchers found it necessary to do a study on it?

Ok, before I go any further, let me just make it perfectly clear that I'm not saying TV is a bad thing by any means. I have absolutely no problem with my son watching TV, and even though I'm sure this won't win me any fans, I actually think he's learned quite a bit from the good old tube. Let's be honest, it's helped me get through many stressful days over the course of the past few years.

But when it comes to him watching TV, I've also been very careful about what sorts of programs I let him tune in for, which is why the only TV in our house is the flat screen in our living room. Not once have I ever considered putting one in his bedroom, mainly because I just don't see a need for it, but also because it gives me much less control over what he does and does not watch.

With kids who do have their own TVs, isn't there a much greater chance of them turning it on when mom's not looking and watching something completely inappropriate and possibly scary (like the local news)?

I'm just not willing to take that risk with my son, and aside from that, I really cannot justify a reason for why any child would need a TV in his or her bedroom.

I never had one in my room growing up -- not even when I was in high school. Come to think of it, the first time I had a TV in the same room I slept in was when I moved into my first college dorm. I never felt like I was missing out on some privilege for not having one as a kid, and frankly, I highly doubt my son notices the TV's absence either.

Even if we reach a day where he begs and begs for one in his room when he gets a little older, there's no way I'm giving in. You have to draw the line somewhere as a parent -- period.

Does your child have a TV in his/her bedroom? Why do you allow it?


Image via Paul L Dineen/Flickr

kid health, bedroom, tv


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

fleur... fleurdelys3110

We'll see how long you stick to that line once he becomes a teenager. I've always had a tv in my room. Ever since I was 2. When I was younger, I would only watch it at night before going to sleep because it was something that relaxed me. Having a tv in your kid's room is only detrimental if you let it be. 

CPN322 CPN322

My parents gave me their old one when I turned 15. Though I absolutely loved it, I don't know if it was the best idea ever and I'm not sure that I would do the same.

GirlN... GirlNamedBillie

I've had a tv in my room since I was little and I've never been overweight and I have 2 kids, lol. My 3yr old has a tv in her room, but it's a flat screen so she doesn't know how to change the channel on her own so mommy and daddy get to keep control over what channel it's on. We are an active family, lol, I'm not worried about my kids becoming obese just because they have a tv in their room. The brings me back to the crazy lady who told me my kids would develop autism from watching tv....

corri... corrinacs

I am with GirlNamedBillie.  I have had a TV in my room since I can remmber, and I'm the skinniest person I know.  My children also have TV's in thier room, and again.......they are not obese, not even close.  Perhaps I should make them watch more TV to gain some wight LOL.

But thta being said, to each family thier own.  I don't see any problem with it.  I put it on Sprout and typically don't have to worry about what they are watching.

nonmember avatar Lindsay

My 5 and 2 year old sons have a TV in thier room. They are far from obese and never have snacks in thier room so it's not like they are sitting in front of the TV all the time stuffing thier faces and watching garbage. They never have it on for more than an hour a day. They get to watch a 30 minute show while I get ready for work. They also get to watch a 30 minute show in the evening before bed. It's a great way to get them to eagerly hop into bed and settle down before turning off the lights. There is nothing wrong with a TV in a childs room as long as it is used in moderation and there's no way I believe TV contributes to obesity or diabetes. Just like people wanted to blame Mcdonalds for the same conditions. It's ridiculous.

JCHsq... JCHsquared

My 3 year old has a tv in his bedroom (an old tv-- not a new one that was bought for him). It's not hooked up for tv or cable. It's only set up to play VHS' that I had as a kid. LO is in constant movement and rarely asks to watch it. It's mostly in use when he's sick and I want to keep him away from his sibling. The only other tv in the house is in the livingroom. I agree with fleurdelys3110, that it's only detrimental if you let it be. 

Lovin... LovinJerseyMama

I'm twenty-seven now and didn't get a tv in my room till I was 18! Maybe it's the times. None of my friends had tvs in their rooms growing up either. I won't let my kids have one till they are in their teens. Not because I worry about what they will watch but because I don't want them staying up till all hours to watch it. I also rarely watched tv growing up so I didn't care much for it anyways. Hopefully my kids will love reading and being outside with friends as much as I did :)

Austin Keenan

No.    I'm not that concerned about what they watch,   it's easy to program restrictions at their age.    But I am concerned about them spending too much time watching (and video/games etc.).     It's too easy to lose sight of just how much they're watching if it's in their rooms.  


sab1207 sab1207

i had a tv in my room growing up but i was also very active so i rarely watched it . my daughter has one in her room we have satelitte but she has herown guide with mommy approved channels so she can change it when she wants all other channels are blocked and need a pw so i dont have to worry. but with her being in school the only time she watches it is whn its supper time or bedtimeother than that she would ratherplay

nonmember avatar TheDominator

My son has a tv in his room, and has since he was 2. (He's now 4) We shared a room for the first year and a half of his life, so he became accustomed to the glow and the noise at night from mine. It's nice at night because he gets "movie time", which is a half hour of tv time before bedtime... which turns into him falling asleep before that timeframe is up. We'll also turn it on with a movie while he's playing in his room, mostly used as "background noise". However, he's no where NEAR overweight, and he's a VERY active and smart boy. He'd rather read his books or play outside than watch tv. But I keep it in his room because that's what he's accustomed to for bedtime...

1-10 of 70 comments 12345 Last