Children and TVs are touchy subjects for many parents. As we’ve seen with the rise of streaming services, there’s no shortage of options for watching TV. But with so many options available — both online and off — it can be hard to know which ones are best for your child. In this post, we’ll help you decide whether or not allowing your kid to have a television in their bedroom is right for your family and what to do if it isn’t.
Should You Let Your Kids Have One?
You might think, “I’m glad my kids aren’t watching TV all day and night! They would be so bored.” But the truth is, there are many benefits to letting your kids have a Samsung QLED TV in their bedrooms.
- Relaxation. Many parents believe that letting their kids watch TV will keep them from getting enough sleep at night, but this isn’t necessarily true. Studies show that children who watch TV tend to get more sleep than those who don’t watch it—and they wake up feeling refreshed instead of tired and grumpy like other children do when they don’t get enough restful shut-eye during the day (source).
- Entertainment/entertainment options: If your child is old enough for this question (usually around age 4), then having an iPad or tablet computer next to their bed could certainly make things easier when it comes time for bedtime fun after watching another episode of The Walking Dead or Game Of Thrones together before going upstairs together as well!
What’s the Harm?
TV can be a distraction, a time waster and a source of stress. It’s also expensive to buy and maintain, so there are trade-offs between investing in an entertainment centre and keeping up with the latest technological advances. The last thing you want is for your child to spend hours watching TV when it could have been spent learning something new instead.
What UK Parents Told Us About TVs in Their Kid’s Bedrooms
The first thing to know is that 67% of parents want a TV in their child’s bedroom. However, only 8% of children watch television programs, and 45% watch tv to fall asleep. Parents are more likely to have a tv in their room than their children (89%).
The most likely place for a television is in the family room (43%), followed by the kitchen (35%), bedroom (17%) and den/study (15%).
Whether or not to let your children have a TV in their bedroom is one of the most common parenting dilemmas. Many parents want a television in their child’s room for many reasons, including:
- You worry about how watching TV will affect your child’s sleep.
- You’re concerned about what they are learning at school and whether it could be better taught by reading and playing than by watching hours upon hours of educational programming every day.
- You think that if they’re not active enough while awake, they’ll get too lazy around bedtime (and thereby miss out on an opportunity for some exercise).
Should you consider a compromise?
The best way to avoid a battle is to consider a compromise. If you don’t want your child watching TV, there are some ways you can make it easier for them to do so and still get some quality time with their parents:
- After a certain time, please turn off the TV and let them play video games or do something productive. This will help keep kids from getting bored while waiting for cartoons and shows that might be on later.* Letting your child watch shows in the living room only once every few days rather than every day will also help reduce screen time without sacrificing quality time together as a family. Consider letting children use tablets or laptops instead of TVs to play games while their parents are doing things around the house—or enjoy some peace!
Take time to set the rules.
If you want your kids to be good TV viewers, setting up the rules before they get into bed is best. First and foremost, be clear about what you are and are not willing to do:
- What do you want them to watch? For example, if they’re too young for Game of Thrones or Narcos—and I’m sure there’s some other series on Netflix right now that might appeal more than those two—then maybe choose something else entirely.
- What can’t they watch? What is off-limits in terms of content (beyond just “no violence”)? This can vary from family member to family member based on their maturity level and interests, but as a general rule among all three of us here at home with our three kids ranging from ages five through twelve years old: no cursing or nudity; no sexual content; no violence toward any living creature except humans who have been convicted by law (e.g., murder); etc.
The bottom line is that parents should decide whether their children should have a TV in their bedroom. If you feel comfortable with that decision, then so should your child!