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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:

  • Not, definitely not to help them go to sleep. They need to learn how to do that all by themselves without props. My kids had TVs in their bedrooms, not for bedtime tho! And not connected so they just watched DVDs and videos. Sometimes I would join them. It’s harmless as long as their viewing time is monitored

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  • Absolutely not. No tv in the bedroom!

    Reply

  • Nup. Not screens in bedrooms. They just learn to rely on them for falling asleep, switching off etc. Best to have them learn to do all that without screen help.

    Reply

  • I think an iPad could be a better idea as they can watch it and you can take it away when it’s time for sleep.

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  • My kids have a TV in their room but they only watch it when they have friends over or on rainy days to watch movies. There is no antenna on them and they aren’t “smart tv’s” so only used to watch DVD’s and never to go to sleep too.

    Reply

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