Do your children have TVs in their rooms?
Call me old fashioned but I just don’t like the idea of children having televisions in their rooms.
It’s a question is cropping up more frequently: “Mum, can I have a television in my room?”
The answer is always the same: “No, you can’t.”
Call me old fashioned – and no doubt many of you will – but I just don’t like the idea of children having televisions in their rooms.
Watch TV together
I prefer TV watching to be a family activity, something we can comment on together and laugh about. Heaven knows we are all busy and it’s difficult enough to get everyone together to enjoy a meal together, never mind having the children skulk off to their rooms to watch telly (and sometimes the same programme I am watching in the lounge).
Bedrooms are havens - place for me-time, a bit of privacy and relaxation. I don’t want their bedrooms to be places where they spend all their time, hidden away and becoming more anti social into the process. That, I believe, is the beginning of the family unit fracturing. Who wants to be in a family that lives entirely separate lives under one roof? That’ll happen soon enough, anyway!
I appreciate there are times when we want to watch different programmes – and that’s fine. At the risk of being branded a hypocrite, there is a portable TV in my bedroom that I use when I want to escape the endless hours of football or darts.
The children also use it when they want to watch something we don’t. So, if I let them use my TV, why won’t I let them have one of their own?
Controlling TV habits
It’s all to do with control.
My stance has little to do with arguments that TVs in children’s rooms hinders their learning (a few academic studies have claimed this) or the fact that the Association of Teachers and Lecturers complained two years ago that growing numbers of children were picking up bad behavioural habits because they viewed inappropriate programmes.
But supervision is a concern.
How can I be absolutely certain what they are watching if they are in their own rooms? I can’t hover over them 24/7. And how can I guarantee they are not sneaking in a programme at 11pm when I'm asleep?
Eleanor disagrees with me. Her children, aged five and nine, share a room that has a TV in it.
“After being tucked in and cuddles, they have some sleepy telly time, then it goes off,” she says. “I’ve never had any issues. They only ever watch it before bed and weekend mornings.”
Have you bought a TV for your youngster's room - or are you adamant they shouldn't have one?
Author Abi Burlingham also allowed a TV in her children’s rooms when they reached the age of seven. “[I] don't especially like the idea, but it cut out a lot of the arguments about which programme was going on, plus I don't like TV on downstairs too much, but understand the kids sometimes have things they want to watch,” she says.
“I think different sex children with bigger age gaps influence the decision as they are at different stages and want different things, for example, Tracy Beaker vs Scrubs or Dr Who.”
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