Should You Allow TVs In Your Child’s Bedroom?
Most children these days expect to have a TV in their bedroom. But is it actually a good idea? Some parents are worried that watching programmes late into the night will affect sleep quality. Others simply worry that they may never see their little ones again if there’s no longer any reason to come into the living room to watch the television! So, what’s the right decision?
The Effect On Sleep Quality
TVs and other screens are known to impact negatively on sleep quality. While blue light is great during the day for boosting reaction times and attention levels, at night it suppresses the body’s natural release of melatonin – the hormone which helps us to relax and sleep. Kids who watch over 2 hours of TV daily sleep for around 11 minutes less than those who didn’t. While this may not sound like much, it can certainly mount up.
Does TV Cause Nightmares?
When kids have TVs in their bedroom, it’s hard to police what they’re watching. This may be the reason why a recent study examining sleep patterns in children showed that those with TVs in their rooms had a greater likelihood of suffering from night terrors and nightmares.
The Social Impact
One of the things that worries parents most about putting TVs in kids’ bedrooms is the fear that their little ones will squirrel themselves away in their own room all evening and during the weekends. This impacts on quality family time, and may even go so far as to deter children from going out to play or socialise with their friends.
Keeping Kids Happy
Despite all these very good arguments against having a TV in your child’s bedroom, there’s another aspect which has been overlooked – pester power! Kids these days have a natural expectation that they’ll have a television in their room. If they have a video game console (and most children do) they need one to play the latest titles.
No parent wants their living room television to be taken over by children playing Mario Kart or shooting zombies! Another element to consider is the other screens which children have access to. Even if you don’t put a TV in your child’s room, the chances are that they’ll be using their tablet, laptop or even smartphone to watch YouTube videos or stream their favourite programmes anyway.
With this in mind, there’s little to lose from putting a television in your son or daughter’s bedroom, and it may even deter them from looking for unsuitable viewing material online. If you’ve decided that you’re going to put a TV in your child’s bedroom, the next question is where to put it. One of the best ideas is to use a cabinet with an open shelf. This is a streamlined way to fit a TV into your kids’ room without taking up too much surface space.
Should I Let My Child Have A TV?
At the end of the day, it’s up to every parent to make the right decision about whether to let their child have a television in their bedroom. However, whatever choice you make, the most important thing is to make sure you police what your little ones are watching, whether they’re using a TV, smartphone or tablet.