TV’s in Children’s Bedrooms (1)
By: Beth McHugh 2008
I’m not a fan of TV’s in children’s bedrooms and I know not everyone will agree with me on this one, but it’s not only my personal preference. The detrimental effects of televisions in children’s bedrooms have long been a topic of interest among psychologists.
The invention of the television has had a major impact on family life since it was introduced in the middle of the last century. Where once it was the norm for families to gather around the dining table at the end of the day, these days parents have to make that simple occurrence a rule if they wish to have a TV-free meal.
Naturally, kids and even parents will find it difficult to not ever eat and watch TV at the same time. Certainly there is little harm in sharing a meal and a favorite show together. Yet if it is done every day during the formative years of your children’s lives, it does take away a sense of “family” and closeness, due to the absence of active communication. With so many other distractions vying for our children’s’ attention, it is really important to schedule a short time each day to share, and the evening meal is an ideal time.
But when your child has a television in his or her bedroom, this brings about a sense of isolation in the child and has a detrimental effect on parent-child and even peer-peer communication. Of course, your child will not be aware of this; in fact, they will often welcome and lobby for the arrival of their own personal television. It is only towards mid- to late adolescence that the effect of continual non-sharing with parents and other siblings will begin to show itself.
That doesn’t mean to say that you can only have one television in the house. Certainly by the time your children are adolescents they will have viewing tastes that are significantly different to your own. Yet there are ways around this dilemma and we will discuss this is coming articles.