Parents of young children: what's your position on having TVs in the kid's bedroom?

My wife & I have a baby girl. On her first birthday, one of my siblings gave her a television with built-in DVD player, which we have not put up and do not intend to (annoying the sibling in question, but that’s another issue). Partly that’s because we have a self-imposed two-TV limit in the apartment (one in the living room, one in the kitchen), but mostly because my wife doesn’t want to use the TV as a babysitter or get our daughter hooked on electronics (an attitude the giver of the television predicts will not survive as our daughter gets older). I don’t feel as strongly about the matter as she does, but I tend to think my wife is more correct than my sibling (and obviously I care more about keeping my wife happy anyway).

Having said all that I do wonder about the experiences of people with more experience in this matter than I do. So, parents & guardians of young children: tell me about your experiences on this issue.

My son is 8, and probably watches too much TV; still, we won’t put one in his room. For the two hours after he comes home from school he has to be in his room - doing homework if he has any, and if he doesn’t, reading or playing with his toys. A screen in his room would defeat the purpose.

I have news for you. Not only is most modern society hooked on electronics and becoming more so, it’s hard to get a job without sufficient electronics skills. Does the word “Luddite” ring a bell?

The thread is about having a tv in the bedroom. And constantly watching television is not a skill. I’d be grateful if you’d talk about the effects, on your kids, of having or not having a television in their bedroom–you know, the actual topic of the thread.

Watching television and playing video games* doesn’t build “electronics skills”.

*With a slight caveat that, yes, basic familiarity with common devices and interfaces, navigating menus, using a controller, etc, are skills. But they’re not skills that any child is in danger of not developing just because they don’t have their own personal tv.

I have four kids, ages 15, 13, 11 and 9. None of them have TVs in their bedrooms and I would never consider doing so. There is one TV in the house and it is in the living room.

My son had a TV in his room for a while, but it was not hooked up to cable. Just a dvd player and video game console. He hardly ever used it. He prefers the TV in the family room, so when we redid his room last year we gave it away. He’s 14 now, but I think the TV was in there from the time he was 5 or so until he was 13. I don’t think he is any more or less addicted to his electronics than any other teenager.

I don’t see any reason for an infant to have a TV in her room. I think it’s weird that your sibling would purchase something like that (especially for a baby) without discussing it. When my MIL wanted to by my son the TV he used to have, she asked if we would allow it first.

I’ve seen a good number of married friends lose all real contact with their kids because the kids have TV/Internet in their bedrooms and find electronic life more interesting that connecting with their folks. My grandson doesn’t have a TV in his room: he either has to watch with his Mom and Dad or with me and Mme. Pepperwinkle, or not at all. He has to borrow my home computer to use the Internet (he likes Minecraft), but knows he’s limited to an hour at a time. He’s about to turn 12, and nobody wants to put a TV in his room. When not watching, he’s outside killing monsters who dare threaten our house (used to be pirates, then skeletons, now its creepers), or actually reading books.

Pros of having a tv in the kid’s room:

-they can watch what they want and you can watch what you want

-it can serve as a “babysitter” when you have company over or for other reasons want to be alone in the living room
Cons of having a tv in the kid’s room:

-I noticed that my kid’s room gets a lot messier when he has a tv in it, especially with food and drink messes, because he wants to snack while watching tv

-it can take them a lot longer to fall asleep if they watch tv right up until bedtime, because of the brightness of the screen that simulates daylight. They are more likely to watch tv right up until bedtime if it’s in their bedroom, or to turn it on in the middle of the night if they wake up.

-it takes away from together-time as a family and isolates the members.
I don’t think it should even be an issue for a toddler- you don’t want to leave them alone, even in their rooms, for that much time at once anyway. But it almost definitely will become an issue as she gets older. I have, after many years of letting mine have one in their rooms, now decided against it. My remaining son at home now almost never even watches tv anymore because of it. But he has transferred all of that tv time to the computer, which may not be such a great thing, either.

I grew up with a TV in my room, but am not planning to let my son have one. I may allow one in the extra bedroom/den for video games and movies when he gets older. The TV in the living room works quite well as a babysitter, thankyouverymuch.

BTW, I consider it rather presumptuous for an Aunt/Uncle to give a gift like a TV to a 1 year old, without parental approval. They should be finding age appropriate toys that emit obnoxious noises.

I think TVs in the bedroom suck and probably rot your kids’ brains.

Both my kids have TVs in their bedrooms.

Basically I caved to pressure from the kids, my husband, and his kids (when they lived here). However, the Girl-child’s TV hardly ever been turned on.
The Boy-child uses his frequently and falls asleep with it on, which I hate. Anytime he gets in trouble, the TV is one of the first things to go, not because it’s an especially effective punishment, but just because I don’t like it.

Probably won’t put a TV in her room until the kid is at least 10.

My son is about to turn 13 and just got a TV for his room. My daughter (almost 10) does not have one, nor do I. He has a group of school friends he plays XBox Live with, and it’s incredibly noisy and annoying, so I put it in his room, something I swore I’d never do. It’s made the rest of the house more peaceful and he is happy. He doesn’t spend too much time on it, so it’s really not been bad. I’m glad I waited until he was older, though.

ETA: we don’t have cable, only netflix, and we really don’t watch a lot of TV. The noise annoys me so I make them leave it off a lot. My daughter does have a little tablet that’s actually mine, but she borrows it to watch netflix in her room sometimes.

Drums. Drums are just a great gift. Very good for annoying the parents and nobody can complain it’s not age-appropriate :smiley:

I don’t have kids, but my nephews don’t have any electronics they can use by themselves. In their houses* there is a TV in the living room and one in the kitchen (meals involving four people or less are in the kitchen, meals with more people are in the living room and the TV is on during meals only if nobody eating is a grown-up); in their grandmothers’ houses, there is one in the living/dining room (and no TV during meals). My mother’s computer has accounts for both kids, with age-appropriate, parent-approved games, but neither kid is allowed to boot it up alone. My brother has a tablet he bought specifically for the kids, but again they can’t just grab it and boot up; they’re not allowed to touch his laptop. Kids are 7 and 4.

  • The one they live in and a vacation home.

No, no tv in the bedroom. We don’t have one in ours, either. We do have iPads that can be taken to watch something in peace, but that isn’t done too often, except by me. Everyone else is happy to hang out in the living room together; I like to be alone!

Are we talking about children, or babies?
The OP’s kid is only one year old. She can’t put a DVD into the slot and turn on the TV without adult help.

So why not put it in her room for the next year or so? It will ease the family tension with the sibling who thought it was an appropriate present ,and the kid won’t care whose room it is in, anyway..
I don’t see anything wrong with a toddler watching a little TV-whether it’s a small set in her bedroom or the big set in the family room–as long as there are other human beings present and interacting with her.
When you have time* to watch a teletubby show with her, go into her bedroom, turn on the TV, and have fun together with pointing at things. Talk to,with, and at the screen–repeat out loud what the characters are doing, etc.
It won’t be an everyday thing (unless you have a lot of time,energy and patience!). But in small doses, it’s fine.

*( yes, I know…but it does make for a nice fantasy, doesn’t it ? :slight_smile: )

That’s part of the reason we have the two-tv limit in the apartment. Both my wife & I sleep better if there’s no tv in our bedroom. We have agreed not to bring computers in there either. The only entertainment media allowed in our bedroom are the stereo, books, and one another. :wink:

By the way, I’m not offended by my sister’s giving this gift. This isn’t the crazy Rhymer sibling; I’m sure she meant well, and intended it actually as a gift for my wife (so she’d have a way to entertain the baby when she, my wife, is tired. But this sister was also surprised that we don’t have a television in the home office, which doubles as a guest room. She likes TV more than I do.

I don’t necessarily have a problem with it. It depends so much on the setup of the household. For example I’ve never had a TV in my daughter’s room, because her hangout spot in the house is the living room and mine is my bedroom. So that’s where we’ve always had the two TVs.

But for some people, the kids’ bedroom is their main playroom too. Watching TV in a bedroom being used as a playroom may not be different than watching TV in a living room being used as a playroom. You can still limit what and when they watch, you just have to be realistic about whether or not you actually will and whether or not you actually want to (like say if their room is way off upstairs and out of the way of where you usually hang out, do you really want to bother?).

I dislike TVs in bedrooms in general. We don’t have one in ours and our daughter will absolutely not have one in hers. We have one TV, it is in the media room, and we all watch too much of it anyway.

But see, you HAVE a media room. I have a small apartment with no extra space. If my daughter has friends over, they’re usually in the living room. If I want to give them and myself space, I have nowhere to go but my bedroom. I don’t watch much TV anyway, but I do spend a lot of time on my laptop, and if I had a no-electronics-in-the-bedroom rule like everyone keeps annoying me about because I have insomnia, then I’d still have nowhere else in the house to go, and I’d also have nothing to do. If I HAD extra rooms in my house, I *would *try out the suggestion of only using bedrooms for certain things.