Parents share their thoughts on whether or not children should have TV’s in their bedrooms.

One mum turned to the internet for some advice, “My 4 year old son loves crawling into bed with me and watching TV. He often falls asleep and I carry him into his own bed. I was wondering whether I should get a TV for my son’s room – it seems to put him to sleep really well!”

Many people commented: “your child, you do what works best for you”, while others shared some compelling arguments both for and against.

One mum suggested, “Have you considered that he loves falling asleep while spending time with you? Try reading to him in his own bed, or listening to audio books in his bed, my guess is he will drift off just as quickly.”

Another agreed, “Reading to him would be better, then soft relaxation music. It worked wonders for my son.”

Rachael said, “My son just likes the company of not being alone in his room to fall asleep. Even if I’m just sitting there playing Solitaire on my phone. Sometimes he wants a cuddle to go to sleep. Sometimes I’ll let him watch a video with me and he will just roll over and go to sleep after a little while.”

Another mum shared, “My children have TV’s in their rooms and have used it as a sleep aid from school age. Mainly as the eldest was unable to settle due to constant thinking about school. Only problem I’ve found is they think they need it to fall asleep, so although it helped really well for a few years it’s now a pain in the butt as they’ll watch an entire movie before falling asleep.”

Emma said a flat NO! “Screen time has been shown to have a negative impact on sleep. My kids will never have a Tv in their room unless they buy it.”

Susan said, “You might regret it when they get older and start accessing content you don’t want, at times that wont help sleep! Plus could be a distraction should the bedroom ever become a quiet place for homework… also might just be wanting your company and coincidentally you happen to be with the TV so he is exposed to it too. Perhaps you could snuggle in his room and read a book to him then when he is asleep go and watch TV? ”

Taylor shared, “Devils advocate here, my mum put a telly in both my siblings rooms they used to watch their favourite shows and fall asleep within ten minutes. I never have, but it works well for some.”

Sarah said, “All of our kids have one. 4 year old is out after 20 mins of tv in bed. The others have them turned off at 8.30. No issues or over tiredness if we stick to routine.”

What the experts say

Clinical counsellor, Susie Tuckwell, says there are health disadvantages to be taken into consideration before you decide to put a television in your sleep space. A loss of sleep due to over-stimulation of both the eyes and the brain before bedtime is one of the most obvious disadvantages of having a TV in your bedroom.

“Screen time disturbs the body’s natural wind-down mechanisms. Not allowing your brain to clear out waste products over time may contribute to dementia,” Tuckwell says.

“Lack of sleep can also lead to depression and other health issues such as obesity.”

Research shows strong associations between TV in the bedroom and numerous health and educational problems.

Children with bedroom TVs score lower on school tests and are more likely to have sleep problems. Having a television in the bedroom is strongly associated with being overweight and a higher risk for smoking.

One of the most obvious consequences is that the child will simply end up watching far more television — and many parents won’t even know.

In a study of 80 children, ages 4 to 7, the presence of a television in the bedroom increased average viewing time by nearly nine hours a week, to 30 hours from 21. And parents of those children were more likely to underestimate their child’s viewing time.

Another study of more than 700 middle-school students, ages 12 to 14, found that those with bedroom TVs were twice as likely to start smoking — even after controlling for such risk factors as having a parent or friend who smokes or low parental engagement. Among kids who had a TV in the bedroom 42 percent smoked; among the others, the figure was 16 percent, reports NY times.

Do you think TV’s belong in kids bedrooms?

Join our Facebook discussion below:


  • No need in my opinion. Better out where parents can monitor what they are watching.

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  • I have a TV in my room which my kids will sometimes watch with me. Otherwise they watch TV in the lounge room.

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  • Pretty simple – ah no, never

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  • No. Never. Not happening. I like to think that my children’s rooms are somewhere to escape from everything, including the noise of the television.

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  • No I don’t, it is not necessary.

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  • I personally don’t think it is a a good idea!
    I just don’t think screens in general are any good for kids.
    There are lots of negatives when it comes to kids and screens as was said in the article.

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  • Kids don’t need to have TV’s in their bedrooms.

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  • Kids don’t need tvs in their rooms. There needs to be boundaries

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  • my son is 12yrs old, we have taken the tv out of his room 3 weeks ago. It also connects to his xbox too…since my house is sooooo small, we have found a spot to put the tv in the open living area but my son isn’t happy as he said its embarrassing for if he has friends over and cant speak freely…really what to speak rude about??? so my office area is going to become his area, I now have to move and find my area. I rather that then put the tv and xbox back in his room. wrong move we have done and we have learnt our lesson. My son is in his room all the time, it drives me insane. My daughter will not have a tv in her room. I wasn’t allowed a tv in my room until I was 21yrs old, if I was watching the same channel as my parents, I had to come out and watch it with them.

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  • Children should only be in their bedrooms to sleep or for ‘Time Out’ – a television in the room would not make one a serene place for sleeping, two a punishment.

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  • NO Way, bedrooms are for sleeping and playing. Children have enough technology surrounding them, they dont need it in the one place that should be for resting and play. I feel this is only setting the child up to have a dependance on noise for sleep.

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  • We used one in the bedroom temporarily when our eldest(then 4 y.o.) was really sick with tonsillitis. We were advised to keep her quiet, not let her run around if possible, preferably to stay in bed. Like all little kids she got bored so we put the TV in there and played movies on it. We knew exactly what she was watching when we weren’t in the room with her that way. They younger one had a few days holiday with Grandma as it was suggested we try to keep them apart as they youngest was 2 y.o., slightly disabled and very disruptive at times.

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  • My kids never had tv in their rooms ( sorry girls). But it was a decision we made based on the fact we wanted to spend time together as a family and we figured if they wanted their own space they could read in their rooms

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  • I refused to put a TV in my children’s bedrooms till they were young adults. My home had 2 separate living areas & plenty big enough for them & friends, I converted a spare bedroom into a games room once they were 16 yrs old mostly because they were so noisy. The problem with allowing TV’s & computers in bedrooms is they become anti social & lock themselves away in their rooms. It is already hard enough to get them to come to the table without adding screen time to it & hearing “Mum I will only be a minute” or “I ain’t hungry”.

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  • my kids have tvs in their bedrooms as we only have one main lounge room and it replaces stereos, alarm clocks and devices. its monitored and turned off at bed time. each to their own! but I haven’t known any long term effects for mine or my friends children.

    Reply

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