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By Jesse Shultz

Should your children have a TV in their bedroom?

Just about everyone has the magical box that glows, that entertains and keeps families occupied for hours. Some families might even have several of them in many different rooms in the house. One room that most parents say they don't want a television in is their kids' rooms. Why is this? What are the effects that come with putting a TV into a child's room? If I were to put a TV into my child's room, would there be any upsides? Televisions are like any other type of entertainment; if regulated properly and used responsibly, they can be a great part of life. If on the other hand, if it gets out of control, then serious problems can arise and have serious consequences.

One of the most obvious and probably the first negative effect that comes to mind for most people when talking about putting a TV into a child's room is sleep disturbances. Being a kid they don't understand how to use something responsibly, even if it affects one of their most vital functions. This can become a serious issue and result in poor grades and other undesirable outcomes. On top of the sleep disturbances you have the obvious other factors such as not knowing what your child is watching and how much. While what they are watching can somewhat be monitored depending on the situation, most of the time, especially at night, their viewing activities will most likely be unknown.

A logical repercussion of bad sleep patterns is poor grades and test scores. A 2005 study done by Stanford University School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University shows that children who have TV sets in their rooms perform lower on reading and math portions of standardized tests. It is also reported that those students who performed poorly on standardized testing actually did more homework each night compared to children who did not have a TV in their room.

After all of the negatives, what are the positives of having a TV in a child's room? One major benefit that some people may find is that it can give them their own place to watch their own content. This works well if the older members of the family tend to watch less child-friendly programming. Not only does it help to filter out any content that the child should not be viewing but it can also help them establish things that they are interested in. If they see something on TV that looks interesting it can open new doors to new hobbies and the like. A TV in their room can also be used as a tool to build responsibility. If you monitor it properly and set regulations and let your child be aware of them you can build some trust and they can start to learn about being responsible and respecting boundaries.

While there are many negative aspects of allowing your child to have a TV in their room it's not all negative. A lot of the factors depend on the child and the family. The parent(s) have to be aware of how their child reacts to certain elements and be able to determine if they are capable of having their own device. If the child does not handle the responsibility well, then they need to be made aware of it and consequences must be established. At the end of the day, TV is not for everyone's child just like a certain movie is not for everyone. You have to be a parent, communicate with your child and be able to determine what the appropriate course of action is.

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