Should I Let My Child Have a TV in Their Room?
Ah, the age-old debate of whether or not you should allow your kids to have their own TV in their room. It’s a tale as old as time, and still not an issue I’m sure has a black and white answer (though hopefully the TV in question is in colour!).
On the one hand, it’ll give you the chance to settle down to watch The Crown in peace, but on the other, it could mean your kids are watching cartoons way past their bedtime. To help you come to a decision, I’m taking a deep dive into the pros and cons for both arguments.
And if you do settle on allowing your youngsters their own TV, I’ve got plenty of tips to make sure it’s a healthy outcome for everyone involved.
Pros of putting a TV in your kid’s bedroom
No fighting over the remote control
In our household, it’s a rare occasion we can all agree on what to watch. The only time it happens is when the latest Pixar flick comes on – and that’s only because I’m a big kid!
If your kids have their own TV, it removes the need to fight over the control. You can enjoy bingeing the latest drama, while your kids can get stuck into what everyone’s talking about at school. Since not every programme is appropriate or interesting for your kids, it means you won’t always have to forgo your favourite shows to watch something that suits the whole family.
Save space in your living room
When the whole family uses the same TV, it can take up a lot of space. This is especially relevant if your kids are avid gamers, as you’ll know that all their gaming gubbins can spread across the entire room.
With consoles like a PlayStation, Xbox or a Nintendo Wii, it’s possible your kids will rely on the family TV to play with them. And if that’s the case, your living room could be filled with games, controllers, and speakers – not to mention all the space needed to play them.
By setting up a TV in your kids room, you can make sure your living room stays a haven for relaxing and family time – and nothing else.
Cons of putting a TV in your kid’s bedroom
Too much screen time
Screen time is a huge sticking point when it comes to allowing your kids their own TV. Kids aren’t always the best at managing their screen time, so it’s up to us as parents to help them stick to a healthy schedule.
If your kids have their own TV, it can be much harder to limit their intake. Too much screen time can disrupt a healthy sleeping pattern – and many parents worry that their kids will ignore requests to switch off at a reasonable time.
TV can be a distraction
If your kids use their bedroom as a spot to knuckle down and get homework done, a TV could be a big distraction. With exams on the horizon for secondary school kids, the last thing you need is something else that takes their eyes off the ball.
Less control over what they view
Kids can be incredibly impressionable. If you have younger kids, it’s important to make sure they aren’t watching the post-watershed material after 9pm – as it can often lead to more questions than it’s worth! And with their own TV, it can be harder to keep tabs on what they’re viewing.
How to find a compromise
If you’re torn, it’s possible to find a compromise between the two. Putting a TV in your kid’s room doesn’t mean you’ll stumble across the negatives I outlined above. To make sure it’s a healthy option for both you and your kids, here’s some helpful tips:
Find some savvy furniture options
I believe choosing the right furniture will settle most issues in life. Well, maybe not world peace or even the scone pronunciation debate…(and is it jam or cream first?? Anyway I digress) but when it comes to helping your kids manage their TV viewing, it can certainly help.
By selecting a loft bed, you can make sure your kiddos avoid watching TV in bed – where they should be avoiding screens to get a good night’s kip. As many loft beds have ample space underneath the sleeping area, you can pop their TV in a spot they can’t see whilst tucked up in bed. Clever, right?
Use family friendly controls
With smart TVs, you can help your kiddos steer clear from content that’s not family friendly. If you’re concerned your kids will watch something they shouldn’t, you can set up some parental controls. Plus, streaming services like Netflix and BBC iPlayer also allow you to put a pin-controlled lock on shows that aren’t suitable.
Wait until your kids are old enough
Like I mentioned earlier, kids aren’t always the best at managing their screen time and avoiding distractions. This is usually something they learn as they grow older, so it may be worth waiting until your kids are mature enough. There is no one-size-fits-all age, but I’d say waiting until your youngsters reach their teens (around 14 years old) is ideal.
Restrict the remotes
Alternatively, do what I do and keep the remotes in a safe place until they ask for them and then set an alarm for them to return them (I allow 1 hour a day – weekday – of their own TV, whether that be a TV program or playing on their console). It’s worked so well, I don’t even need to go and collect the remotes anymore – they bring them to me (I did have to bribe them at first…).