As I was driving to work this morning, a local top 40 radio station was conducting a poll of its listeners about whether or not it is ok to put a flat screen television in a 4 year-old’s bedroom. Apparently, one of the employees of the radio station is considering putting a TV in his daughter’s room and so they were polling the audience.
It seemed that a majority of the listeners calling and texting into the radio station were against having a television in a young child’s room but there were some people who believe it to be totally acceptable and some who even think it’s a good idea.
I am about as loosey goosey as a mom can be when it comes to television watching. I let my kids watch a fair amount of age-appropriate television. If we are inside and they want to watch something, I will usually let them. Sometimes they watch TV while they are eating. Sometimes the TV is on but they aren’t really watching it. I rarely limit the amount of kid shows they can watch. I do, however, encourage my children to do other things and I keep them very active outside. They would often rather be doing something other than laying around watching a show anyways and in that sense, they limit their own screen time. I don’t see too much harm in letting kids watch television but I do recognize that their minds need to be stimulated in other ways too.
I found the radio listener poll interesting because the thought has never occurred to me whether to put a television in my child’s room. For one thing, with my oldest being only 4, my children are not even close to the age where I personally would consider it. Secondly, although I had a television in my room as a kid (not sure what age I was but certainly older than 4) and I have a television in my room now, we would have to have TVs in each child’s room and pay for cable in each room to make things fair in our home. With three kids, that’s a lot of money! For me, as my own personal parenting choice, I want to know how much time my kids are spending watching TV and exactly what they are watching so that I can intervene if I feel it is getting out of hand or borderlining unhealthy. I imagine that this will become even more important as my kids get older.
Every parent makes their own choices but I’m curious, do you have a TV in your child’s room or have a no TV in the bedroom policy?