TV in the Bedrooms: Pros and Cons

| February 27, 2013 | 24 Comments

three girls watching televisionOver 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?

Comments (24)

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  1. Paula V says:

    I’ve always voted against tvs in the bedroom. Kids rooms are different I guess than adults but only sleeping on the bed (no playing or tv) will help to associate sleeping with bed…probably not a problem for kids to sleep as some adults.

  2. april yedinak says:

    I am weird about this. I don’t really believe in TV in a kid’s bedroom. There is one hooked up for games in one of their rooms, but it doesn’t get played often, because I refuse to upgrade to one of the new consoles. However, my son, who has autism, does have a small TV with cable in his room that he turns on at night and likes to have on while he is sleeping. He is afraid to sleep without it on, so I just let him have it.

  3. Sam Dock says:

    We do have a tv in my son’s room, but it is not hooked to cable so it only gets the antenna channels. We keep it set to the PBS cartoon channel and it only even gets plugged in for 15-30 minutes before bed and we will watch Curious George together.

  4. Maria Iemma says:

    I never allowed a TV in the kids bedrooms – too much distraction. They had a CD player so they could listen to music

  5. Chrystal D says:

    I think it depends on the age of the child as far as tvs in their rooms go.

  6. Karen Hand says:

    I never had a television set in my children’s bedroom while they were growing up, and they turned out just fine. We did have a television in the living room, which I allowed them to watch on occasion (mostly cartoon), but never more than an hour or so a day. I never heard any complaints.

  7. Dandi D says:

    I grew up without a TV in our home and I really think it nurtured creativity in me as a kid without the distraction of the junk on television. We have a very old TV in our unfinished basement that we watch only for football and basketball occasionally. Our son does not watch any TV and I think it’s good for him!

  8. Sherry J says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. Our rule has been no TV’s in the bedrooms and it’s great to see so many other parents here with the same rule. My kids are 21, 18, and 11 and are doing just fine. 🙂

  10. Ari says:

    I would also agree not to have a tv in the bedroom until the child is 18+. I think if it were put in, it would just cause a lot of distraction. And kids are already bombarded with enough distractions these days anyway with their phones and the internet. Therefore I think I would extend that no tv rule to include personal computers as well.

  11. When my son was very young, there was no TV for him in his room. I wanted him to interact with family and friends more than watch TV. This also contributed to my homework rule. No media of any kind until the work was done. In later years, I did allow TV in his room as part of his need for privacy.

  12. Maddie Klingaman says:

    I have always vetoed televisions in the bedroom. Even in our bedroom and although I have been married for 8 years I did not want a television in the bedroom. I finally relented and got 1 for my husband for the bedroom for Christmas, but it came withMaddie’s usage for children I would not allow a television in their room.

  13. Donna George says:

    I never did, until my second hubby insisted on it (asshole). I hate it! Now he’s no longer my hubby and there is no TV in the child’s room.

  14. md kennedy says:

    Just as when we were children there are no TVs in bedrooms of the kids in my sibling’s families. In fact, TV is strictly liimted. If kids want to stay up and read, however, they are permitted to.

  15. Leslie says:

    I’ve always been against televisions in bedrooms. The bedroom is for sleeping or sex, that’s it that’s all. I think putting a tv in a childs room is a waste of money and encourages sleep problems, I just don’t see why it’s necessary.

  16. Sita Madu Wynn says:

    I grew up having no TV in my bedroom, but in the modern world we are in i believe kids should not have one in the rooms till they clock age 15 upwards, we all agree that once we turned 15 we all wanted to have some kind of privacy and freedom that the time.

  17. Mel Caluag says:

    I’d say tv in the bedroom is a bad idea if the child has not yet formed solid foundational habits. Some kids are already strong in this area and won’t let television affect their responsibilities and well being. However, many parents tend to make the tv as a babysitter which has turned many children into zombies.

  18. miccs says:

    I think the worst of all listed above is the lack of interaction that it causes.
    Here, they are forbidden (but I’m afraid of what’s gonna happen when they get older and start demanding their own tvs).

  19. Crystal W says:

    My kids have TV;s in their rooms but I don’t have cable hooked up to any of them so I can monitor how much and what they watch better. They can come and get the DVD player to watch a movie and they have their game systems on them so they can play games without the entire family forced into watching someone play mario cart!

  20. carla bonesteel says:

    We were too poor to have TVs in our bedrooms when I was a kid…Now, I can’t stand it! My boyfriend watches TV until he falls asleep, and it just hinders me from falling asleep.

  21. Tania B says:

    Not having children I know I have very little to contribute to this conversation except that things sure have changed since I was a kid! I know I could have asked for a TV but it would have been like asking for a unicorn and probably would have been met with the same laughter LOL. However, things are much more different now and I’m sure each parent has a different take on this choice. Best of luck with this one!

  22. Christina Kelbel says:

    Tv in the bedroom has always been a must for me but I understand and appreciate the pros of not having one there, especially for kids.

  23. Jo Ann Moffatt says:

    My son was so afraid of the dark. I would put the TV on for him on a kids’ station and set the sleep timer. This worked like a charm! He was always asleep long before the TV shut itself off and eventually he grew out of being afraid.

  24. MariaG says:

    My kids don’t have a TV’s in their room. We have one in the living room and one in our classroom (we homeschool) and my husband wants one in our bedroom (which I’m not opposed to). We also don’t have any satellite or cable. We have antenna which has our football, PBS, News and some Spanish channels. We also have Netflix and a DVD player. We mainly use only the living room TV and I never allow any fighting about usage other wise I turn it off indefinite. I will not sit there a mediate a fight over the television set. So my girls know better. My kids are have their “TV times” they are allowed to watch their cartoons in the morning before chores and school than it gets turned off. After school and even before school they play outside and can watch tv before bedtime that is if someone else doesn’t want to watch the news or something. If it’s a good day they give up there tv time and sometimes school, if we are not to behind, and play outside all day. We compromise for each other. We don’t get cable or satellite bc with more options we’d want to be stuck in front of the TV more. And plus no cable bill! I’ve kept it like this for over 5 years and it’s work great. My girls have a mini library in their room and if they had a TV in there I know they wouldn’t read as often. They read till they get sleepy and it brings joy to my heart to wake up and see a stack of books that have been read instead of a TV on. So I will keep saying no to the TV. It’s worked for us so far. My kids of course ask for one. But sometimes as a parent you have to do what is best for your child even if they don’t understand at the time.

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