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Should My Child Have a Television in His Room?

Some parents worry that putting a TV in a child's room can lead to problems.
Some parents see problems with isolation when television is allowed in a child's room.
Some parents believe children should have no distractions from homework.
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  • Last Modified Date: 10 October 2014
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As with most child-rearing subjects, there are differing points of view on whether or not a child should have a television in his room. Despite these differing opinions, many people do recognize that it can provide at least some value for children, including a wealth of educational programs. Just as many remain unsure of where to draw the line, however.

Those who are opposed to televisions in the rooms of children often cite isolation as a primary negative. They assert that the child will spend less time interacting with his family, which can lead to less of a sense of being close and connected to the family. Also, parents have less control over what a child views if he is able to pick and watch shows in the privacy of his own room. Given some of the programming available on both regular and cable, this can be very troubling.

Another very real concern is the connection between too much TV watching and childhood obesity. A child who is watching television is not running, playing, or otherwise burning significant calories. If the child is allowed to snack in his room as well, he could pack on extra pounds with time. When you consider that obesity is connected with a variety of serious health issues, providing a child with his own TV may not be such a good idea.

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Some parents worry that children with televisions in their rooms may concentrate less on homework and studying. Reading for entertainment and creative pursuits may be pushed aside for favorite programs. Additionally, some children may stay up late watching the TV instead of getting much needed rest. If parents are asleep in their rooms, they may be completely unaware that this is happening.

Despite the arguments against it, many parents feel there is little to no problem with letting kids have their own TVs. Some parents feel that making rules for television watching and enforcing them is enough, and they trust their children to follow these rules when they cannot supervise them. Some also use special, password-protected technology to restrict what their children can watch, although restricting the time spent in front of the TV may be more difficult.

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Discuss this Article

anon935927
Post 28

I am not for it or against it. I think it depends how much time you spend on it.

anon934723
Post 27

I have a television in my room but I rarely watch it.

anon327375
Post 24

I'm a kid, but I think it's OK to have a TV in your kid's room. I mean, look: I watch TV all the time and I still get plenty of awards in school tests, I'm top of the class and I'm not overweight.

I know I'm only an 11 year old, but I turned out fine. I still spend time with my family and I go outside and play a lot. (I know this is just opinion but I think it is OK for kids 11 and up to have a TV in their rooms.)

anon210757
Post 21

I can see where the idea of having a TV anywhere in the home is bound to lead to some problems with motivation and social interaction. The same can be said for computers or video game consoles or DVD players or stereos. I think having a separate TV in a different room makes sense when you have a family with different viewing preferences all wanting to watch different shows at the same time on a communal TV set. If the parents want to watch a home improvement show and the child wants to watch Fear Factor, then I don't see a problem with having two televisions in the home.

I think adolescents are especially sensitive about having a living space they can claim as their own. It's not about isolating themselves from the rest of the family (just about everybody I know does that), but it's about establishing a sense of privacy and ownership. I would rather have an older child spend his or her time in happy isolation in his or her room rather than force them to participate in an artificial Leave it to Beaver dynamic.

It would be nice if today's children and teens unilaterally decided to go outside and do something creative or avoid vegging out in front of a television set, but that's not how this generation is wired, apparently. Obesity is definitely a concern, but I have met a lot of teens who are in good physical condition and still act like slackers at home. If they find it within themselves to go out and do something constructive with other people, then it might just happen organically. If they feel pressured to do it by parents or others, they'll instinctively shut down and watch television or surf the Net.

anon160462
Post 20

I didn't allow a tv in my kids' rooms and I didn't buy a game console. I did buy computers, and did have some computer games. The kids turned out fine.

My common-law wife allowed tv and game machines in her kids' rooms. From my observations, i made the right choice.

anon157257
Post 19

I think having television in your child's room is a way of training your child's discipline.

anon141766
Post 18

My son is seven and is in grade two. Last year, his teacher had called us because he fell asleep in class. We had a tv in his room, and an x-box. He never played with the toys he had. He just wanted to play video games, and even though the games he was playing were more educational, so were the toys we bought him. Of course they were the normal toys boys want. He never wanted to play with other kids.

We went through six months of not knowing why he was cranky and talking back, and never left his room to play, and trying to play with him was a war. He just got angry when something didn't go his way.

As a father i felt terrible and decided this had to change. I pulled the tv out of his room the day i got the call from the school. We told the teacher what he does, what he plays with. She said she's with these kids all day all week, and she knows which ones have a TV in their rooms. She asks them if they have a tv in their room at the beginning of the year and she keeps track of who's tired and who's grumpy and not wanting to do their work.

The best thing i ever did was was take that TV out! He plays outside more, he's earned money doing chores and bought his own toys that he takes care of. He is sleep and lights out by 8:00 every night, he reads and he's got new friends.

I swear by that bloody tv in his room, if i had left it in there, he would have repeated grade one.

I do not recommend a TV in any child's room. I experienced the proof of why it's better not to have one. But to each their own.

anon79839
Post 17

i don't think kids should have t.v's in their rooms because all they would do would be to just watch it and not spend time with their parents and family. but i would allow kids to get a dvd player and watch that for a tv because you don't need wiring or cables for it, so i think a dvd player is good.

anon78055
Post 16

As a father of four, I argue that the appropriate age for having a TV in their own room is -- never.

If a TV is not there to watch, do you think your child will sit and stare at the wall? Of course not! They will exercise their creativity, and play, or build, or read, or -- they might even tell you about their day.

If obesity, isolation, and distraction aren't reason enough what on earth is?

Yes, they will complain, just like they do when you take away their candy. But just like candy, there's not much of any merit, in any TV show.

anon62669
Post 14

I think it really depends on the age of of the child, because I do not think that too young children should watch much TV. But when they grow up you should let them decide for themselves. Besides many students use the television for watching news for school. It is an easy medium for getting information, so they just need to follow the news instead of doing much research.

anon62611
Post 13

I am a pupil and I have my own TV set in my room, but I don't think that it is bad for me because it is not distracting me too much from my homework.

I have to admit, though, that having a TV of my own is sometimes counterproductive, but on the other hand, there are a lot of other things that can easily distracts pupils from doing their homework or studying for a test.

The parents should know what's best for their children and whether they can handle their own TV set in their room.

anon62605
Post 12

I don't think that's a good idea, but if your child can handle this... You can buy him a TV, then you don't have to buy him a computer. but don't spoil him too much.

anon62370
Post 11

In my eyes, there should not be a television in childrenĀ“s room. in germany, television is neither appropriate to get information nor to watch good movies. in case your child wants to watch a movie, it might be better to have a dvd-recorder.

Another case in point is that kids could lose interest in reading, in going outside, in playing with friends. Parents might be afraid that their kids could stop or abort their social development.

Taking an example into consideration, there is always the fear that their kids could get lazy.

Nevertheless television is, in my eyes, improper for a child's room; it has no use there. --N.U.

anon62344
Post 10

I think it isn't a good idea to let your child have a tv in his room, because then he spends much less time with his family.

anon41600
Post 9

I would have to say that I definitely believe that children should not have a television in their room. I agree with all the arguments listed in this article. It impedes the cognitive and social development in children. It also leads to obesity and illnesses that are related to obesity. However, what this article left out is the amount of violence that is on television. Countless amounts of research have been done, usually with the same result. Children are seeing people be murdered, mugged, raped, and who knows what else on television.

Some shows have been shown to have a positive role in development, but only in moderation. Sesame Street helps children learn many great things. A child under the age of two should not watch television at all, in my opinion. Statistically speaking, the more educated a person is, the less likely they are to allow their children to have a television in their room, and the less likely they are to allow them to watch excessive amounts of television.

Excessive amounts of television viewing is directly related to obesity. Some causations characterized by children eating in front of the television, and children seeing hundreds of advertisements for sugary foods and sodas that they then beg their parents to buy for them.

My children watch some movies. I have a DVR that records approved television shows so that they do not need to watch the commercials. They are two and three. They don't need to spend much time staring at the television. When they do watch a movie they sit and stare with their mouths open, kinda look like little zombies.

But, to each their own. This is what I believe. If you believe something else, more power to you!

anon30469
Post 8

Well i think it all depends on the age because if it is a 3-10 year old i don't think they should be staying up watching tv. But with 12 year olds and teenagers if you think your child is responsible i see no harm in putting a tv in their room. They know when to stop.

My child has a tv in his room only because if my six year old is watching his show my 12 year old can watch tv in his room.

You can also monitor what your kid watches and block channels. My kid reads and plays outside with neighborhood friends. He golfs and does other sports and all he watches is the discovery channel. I say responsible children can earn the privilege of having tv in their room.

irrervnt
Post 6

It's ironic that this question comes up now, because I did not allow TV's in my childrens' rooms all through their school years. My daughter and I were just talking and she said to me (unsolicited) that it was the best thing I ever did. She went on to say that she would have been addicted in a short time. She is grown and is a lawyer now. I hope this helps.

anon27152
Post 5

I don't know if this works with children, but every adult I know over 30 falls asleep when watching TV.

anon27127
Post 4

Shouldn't this actually be under health and wellness? Because let's face it, this is a mental health issue. Frankly, I don't see much of what's on the tube as being worth watching to begin with. Add to that, several of the points the author raised--lack of family time, loss of interest in reading or in other intellectual pursuits, loss of time for homework, isolation, obesity--have been a concern for years. TV might be entertaining in small doses. But not much more than that.

DonBales
Post 3

Our youngest grandchild is 10 and doesn't live with us or have a TV in her room. The next one is age (11) doesn't live with us and doesn't watch TV nor do the parents.

TV is a reality, but the quality and accuracy of what is on so many channels leaves much to be desired.

screenwriter
Post 2

There are *some* adults who shouldn't have a television in their homes! For a defective mind a television set or a PC connected to the internet can create havoc.

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