Over the past few months, my kids have been asking if they could have televisions in their bedrooms. We have an old TV with an attached VCR in our closet that we drag out on occasion if we want to watch something on VHS, and my son has been clamoring for that, while my daughter wants a flat-screen. Up to this point, our rule has been, “no media in the bedrooms,” but we did agree to think about it and reevaluate our decision. Here’s what we’ve come up with as far as pros to putting a TV in a child’s bedroom:
- One pro, of course, to letting them have televisions in the bedrooms is that there will be less fighting over what to watch. With only one TV for the four of us, we’ve had to compromise on what to watch. The living room television is also where the Wii and XBox are set up, so at any given time, it could be being used for video games or to stream Netflix movies, so everyone really does need to share.
Our cons list was a bit longer:
- More televisions would probably equal more television viewing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids watch two hours or less of television on any given day. I will be the first to admit that my kids often watch more than that on the weekends, though, and more access to television will probably increase that even more, which isn’t something that I’m eager to have happen.
- With TVs in the bedrooms, we’re less able to monitor what the kids are watching. Truth be told, my kids are usually watching Spongebob, Adventure Time, Bizarre Foods With Andrew Zimmern and other innocuous (and sometimes educational) shows, so this isn’t a huge concern of mine at this point. Still, they’re pre-teens, and pre-teens will push boundaries from time to time.
- Television in the bedroom might encourage them to spend more time alone instead of out interacting with the family. While kids naturally do this as they head into their teenage years, I don’t necessarily want to encourage it for my younger children.
It’s not an easy answer, and it can be difficult to say no to something that’s not a totally unreasonable request. At this point, we’ve decided to think more about it in the summer; right now, we’re able to enjoy gorgeous Florida springtime weather and are spending a lot of time outdoors, making the question of extra televisions a rather moot point. In the summer, though, we’re often in the house, trying to stay cool. Our Northern neighbors, of course, have the opposite situation, and probably more TV-viewing happens in the cold winters!
What have you decided as far as television your child’s bedroom goes? If your kids do have TVs in their bedrooms, do you have more “pros” to add to my list?