Diaries Magazine

When is the Right Time for a TV in Your Childs Bedroom?

Posted on the 09 January 2023 by Sparklesandstretchmarks @raine_fairy
When is the right time for a TV in your childs bedroom?
Can anyone guess the very first thing that my 6 year old son said to me on Boxing Day?
"Guess what I want for my birthday this year Mummy!"
You can imagine my internal screams, as I cast a glance around the living room - adorned with brand new toys from less than 24 hours ago. But this is life with my children - they are always looking for the next thing! And the thing that my son has turned his attention to, is a TV for his bedroom.
So I find myself having to make a decision on whether or not this is a wise choice, and it's proving to be trickier than I thought!
My children are not what I'd call television addicts by any means. We don't really believe in restricting screen time in our house, they are allowed to watch TV and use their devices as and when they choose to as we're trying to teach them to self-regulate - something that I feel they're pretty good at up to now. But would it be a different story if there was a TV in their bedroom?! 
My partner & I have always chosen not to have a TV in our bedroom, and so it seems like a strange move to introduce one to our children. On the other hand, if it's something they're asking for - maybe we should give it a try. After all, we're all different and our preference not to have one isn't automatically the better choice.
While searching for some insight into this topic, I came across the below infographic.
When is the right time for a TV in your childs bedroom?
It reassures me to learn that 75% of children also want a TV in their bedroom, but that 43% of parents who wish they'd held out for longer is not so encouraging. 
To help us to decide, I've been running through some of the pros and cons.
Pros Of Having A TV In The Bedroom
*It may help with falling asleep - My children are already terrible sleepers and always have been. It's not unusual for them to be awake long past midnight, and one of the biggest contributors to stress in our household is trying to keep them quiet late at night so that they don't disturb our neighbours. Having a TV in their bedroom may actually be of benefit, as it might just encourage them to stay in bed to watch. They sleep much better in their grandparents house, where they do have a TV in their bedroom - they usually watch a movie and nod off during it. 
*More down time for us parents - As home educating, work from home parents we get very little time to ourselves. Having the kids go up to bed and watch TV of an evening would mean that we could have a little downtime to ourselves, which would be very welcome.
*Less disagreements over what to watch - As a family with 3 children who all have very different tastes, there are often disagreements over which TV shows and movies to watch. Having their own TV would mean less disagreements, and more choices available to us.
*More autonomy - I'm a firm believer in allowing my children to have plenty of autonomy, to make their own decisions and choices. Supporting my sons choice to have a TV in his bedroom would allow him more autonomy.
*Less clutter downstairs - If they had a TV in their bedroom, then their DVDS could be stored alongside it which would mean less clutter in my living room.
Cons Of Having A TV In The Bedroom
*Could distract from more beneficial bedtime habits - One thing my children do at night time currently is read a LOT. Having a TV in their bedrooms could distract them from reading, and that would be a shame.
*Could disturb sleep - Although they seem to sleep better at their grandparents house with the TV in their room, that isn't necessarily going to be the same at home. The TV could actually stimulate them to stay awake for longer!
*Less control over what's being watched - When they watch TV downstairs, we can keep an eye on what they're watching and how appropriate it is as well as having the chance to discuss any issues that are brought up by certain shows or movies. If they're watching in their bedrooms, we would have less control over this. One potential way to solve this would be to avoid having the TV function enabled and keep it purely for watching movies.
*Could become a necessity for sleep - I started to sleep with my bedroom fan on during the night a few years ago, and I became reliant on the white noise from it. Now I really struggle to be able to sleep if I'm ever away from home without my fan! The same thing could happen with the TV, and they could find themselves to struggle to fall asleep without one.
In conclusion, for our family the pros seem to outweigh the cons - but this will of course be something that differs for every family, and so I don't think there is any clear cut answer on when is the right time for children to have their own TV. It's very much a matter of personal choice. 
So I guess I'll be price comparing full hd tvs over the next few months in the run up to my sons birthday - let's see how it goes! 
Do your children have a TV in their bedroom? If so, at what age did you introduce it? I'd love to hear your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.
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