Should You Let Your Kids Have a TV in the Bedroom?

Should You Let Your Kids Have a TV in Their Bedroom

The question of whether to allow a TV in kids’ bedrooms is one many parents grapple with.

With 75% of children expressing a desire for their own TV space, the dilemma is not just about screen time but also about the timing of this addition to their personal space. Research indicates that a significant majority of children are given their own TV between the ages of four and seven (33%) or from ages seven to eleven (21.6%), highlighting a trend in early exposure to television in private spaces.

The decision involves more than just managing children’s entertainment options; it’s a consideration deeply rooted in the impacts on children’s well-being and household harmony.

Addressing the pros and cons of having a TV in a child’s bedroom requires a careful balance between fostering independence and ensuring healthy development. Factors such as impact on physical health, mental and emotional wellness, and the importance of parental control and monitoring strategies will be explored.

Specifically, for dads navigating the maze of contemporary parenting, understanding the dynamics of screen time and its effects on children becomes crucial. This article aims to provide dads with the insights needed to make informed decisions regarding TVs in kids’ bedrooms, integrating data and research findings to guide those pivotal parenting moments.

Why Do Kids Want a TV in Their Room?

Understanding the allure of a TV in the bedroom for kids requires a dive into their perspectives and the perceived benefits.

Here’s a breakdown:

Personal Space and Independence:

  • A staggering 75% of children express a desire for a TV in their room, with the majority of requests beginning during infant school years. This is often seen as a step towards personal independence.
  • For children aged between four and seven, who make up the largest group (45.8%) asking for a TV, it represents a personal space where they can relax away from family conflicts over what to watch.

Sleep Aid and Learning Tool:

  • Nearly half (44.7%) of the children use the TV to fall asleep, finding comfort in the noise or shows that help calm their minds before bed.
  • TVs are not just for entertainment; they can be educational, teaching children about socialization, life lessons, and even new languages.

Family Dynamics and Practicality:

  • Introducing a TV into a child’s bedroom can be a strategic move for parents looking to upgrade the family living area’s TV without waste. It’s a practical decision that also earns them ‘cool’ points among their kids.
  • Older children often seek an escape from younger siblings, and having their own TV space provides that much-needed retreat.This section aims to provide dads with insights into why their children might be lobbying for a TV in their bedroom, highlighting the blend of independence, educational opportunities, and family dynamics at play.

Cons of Having a TV in a Child’s Bedroom

Negative IMpacts of TV in Kids Bedroom

While the thought of gifting your child a TV for their bedroom might seem like a win for peace at home, it’s worth considering the potential drawbacks.

Here’s a breakdown:

Health and Well-Being

  • Physical Fitness and Eating Habits: Kids with TVs in their bedrooms are more likely to exhibit poor physical fitness and unhealthy eating habits, leading to higher BMI and obesity risks.
  • Sleep Disruption: The presence of a TV can disturb sleep quality, reducing melatonin production and making it harder for kids to fall asleep or stay asleep.
  • Emotional and Mental Health: Increased screen time is linked to higher levels of emotional distress, depressive symptoms, and lower sociability, impacting overall mental and emotional well-being.

Behavioural Impacts

  • Sedentary Lifestyle: Encourages less physical activity and more time spent sitting, contributing to health issues like eye strain and obesity.
  • Distractions and Academic Performance: TVs in the bedroom can distract from homework and studies, leading to decreased academic performance.
  • Exposure to Inappropriate Content: Without supervision, there’s a higher risk of children encountering content not suitable for their age.

Family Dynamics and Costs

  • Reduced Family Time: Having a TV in the bedroom can isolate children, cutting down on valuable family interaction and bonding time.
  • Increased Expenses: Additional screens contribute to higher energy bills and potential costs associated with more frequent upgrades or replacements.Considering these factors can help dads make a more informed decision about whether a TV in the child’s bedroom is truly beneficial.

Pros of Having a TV in a Child’s Bedroom

Despite the concerns, there are undeniable advantages to having a TV in a child’s bedroom, especially when managed wisely. Here are some key benefits:

Personal Space and Independence

  • Privacy: Offers a private haven for children to relax and unwind.
  • Independence: Encourages independence by allowing kids to make choices about what and when they watch.

Educational Benefits

  • Learning Opportunities: From documentaries to educational programs, TVs expose children to new ideas, cultures, and languages.
  • Enhanced Cognitive Development: While moderation is key, educational content can positively impact cognitive skills and academic performance.

Family Harmony

  • Reduces Conflicts: Having additional viewing options in the house can decrease disputes over TV time and content, making for a more peaceful home environment.
  • Parent-Child Bonding: Select shows can become a shared interest, fostering discussions and quality time.In managing screen time, steering kids towards educational content and setting clear guidelines can mitigate potential drawbacks. This balanced approach allows children to enjoy the benefits of having a TV in their bedroom while minimizing negative impacts on their health and development.

Impact on Physical Health

Health Impact TV in Kids Room

Delving into the physical health implications of having a TV in a child’s bedroom reveals a spectrum of concerns that dads might want to consider.

Here’s a breakdown of the key points:

Body Mass Index (BMI) and Eating Habits:

  • A study by Linda Pagani shows a direct correlation between early exposure to TV in the bedroom and an increase in BMI by age 12. This trend is alarming as it sets the stage for unhealthy eating habits by age 13, painting a concerning picture for long-term health.

Sedentary Behaviour and Its Risks:

  • The sedentary lifestyle encouraged by prolonged TV watching is a significant risk factor for obesity, heart health issues, and diabetes. It’s crucial to intersperse TV time with physical activities to mitigate these risks.
  • Chronic neck and back pain are also side effects of poor posture during screen use. Encouraging regular breaks and ensuring proper sitting arrangements can help alleviate these issues.

Strategies for Healthier Habits:

  • Limiting screen time and promoting physical activities are proven strategies to combat the negative health impacts. Studies have shown that reducing TV time can lead to lower BMI and healthier weight management in children.This overview underscores the importance of moderation and the need for dads to foster a balanced approach to TV usage in their children’s lives, ensuring they grow up healthy and active.

Impact on Mental and Emotional Health

Exploring the mental and emotional impacts of having a TV in a child’s bedroom unveils a complex picture. Here are some key findings:

Emotional and Behavioral Effects:

  • A study by Linda Pagani highlighted that children with a TV in their bedroom at age four showed increased emotional distress, depressive symptoms, and physical aggression by age 12. Additionally, these children exhibited lower levels of sociability, hinting at the profound long-term effects on emotional health.
  • The risk of developing an anxiety disorder in adulthood escalates with excessive TV viewing during childhood and adolescence, painting a stark picture of the potential for long-lasting mental health challenges.

Cognitive Development and Academic Performance:

  • According to the National Institutes of Health, children dedicating over two hours daily to electronic devices scored lower on thinking and language tests. This data suggests a direct link between screen time and cognitive development.
  • Excessive screen time, notably more than seven hours, is associated with thinning of the brain’s cortex. This area is crucial for critical thinking and reasoning, indicating that prolonged exposure could impede these essential cognitive functions.

Speech and Social Skills:

  • For children under two, even two hours of TV a day can delay speech progression, underscoring the importance of limiting screen time during crucial developmental stages.
  • Older children may internalize aggression and violence from television programs, potentially leading to issues in social interactions and behavior.These insights underscore the need for moderation and careful consideration of TV’s role in children’s bedrooms, emphasizing the importance of fostering environments that support healthy mental and emotional development.

What is the Right Age to Let a Child Have a TV in Their Bedroom?

Right Age for Kids to Have a TV in Bedroom

Introducing a television into a child’s bedroom is a decision that varies from family to family. There are several factors to consider when contemplating this decision, such as the child’s maturity level, and ability to self-regulate screen time. It is crucial to carefully weigh the potential impact that having a TV in their bedroom may have on various aspects of their life, including sleep, academic performance, and social interactions.

When it comes to determining the appropriate age for a child to have a TV in their bedroom, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Many experts suggest that children under the age of 6 should not have a TV in their bedroom. This recommendation is based on the belief that young children benefit more from engaging in active play, reading, and interacting with others, rather than spending excessive time in front of a screen.

On the other hand, some experts recommend delaying the introduction of a TV into a child’s bedroom until they reach their teenage years. This viewpoint is rooted in the idea that teenagers are better equipped to handle the potential distractions and negative effects that excessive screen time can have on their overall well-being.

The decision of when to let a child have a TV in their bedroom is a personal one, but it should be based on your own child’s maturity level, general behaviour, and personality.

If you do decide to allow a TV in your child’s bedroom, you can get some tips on monitoring screen time in this article.


Navigating the decision on whether to allow a TV in a child’s bedroom is a task many dads face, armed with the knowledge that it’s not just about granting wishes but also about fostering a conducive environment for their child’s development. The insights presented emphasize the importance of striking a balance between the benefits of independent TV time, such as educational enhancements and personal space, against the potential risks to physical fitness, sleep quality, and emotional well-being. It’s clear that while a TV can be a tool for learning and a source of entertainment, the implications of its placement warrant careful consideration.

As dads, the aim is to steer our children towards healthy habits and responsible media consumption. The statistics concerning early exposure to TV and its long-standing effects on health and social behaviours underline the necessity for moderated screen time and parental involvement. While the exact age at which a child should have a TV in their bedroom remains a subject for individual assessment, the broader goal remains the same: to guide our children in making choices that benefit their growth and happiness. So, perhaps the best advice is to keep those dad jokes coming, while also keeping an eye on the remote.


Is it appropriate for a child to have a TV in their bedroom?

It is generally advised that children under the age of 6 should not have a television in their bedroom. The presence of a television can disrupt a child’s sleep and make it harder for parents to control what and how much media their child consumes.

Can having a TV in the bedroom impact sleep?

To create a better sleep environment, it’s important to place a TV at least a few feet away from your bed. Having the TV too close can disturb your sleep due to the bright light and sound, potentially causing sleep issues.

At what age is it suitable for children to have their own TV?

While it’s impossible to completely shield our children from technology, television can be educational. In my personal view, the age of around 10 years might be appropriate for most children to have a television in their bedroom.

Should children have electronic devices in their bedroom?

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends against having any media devices in children’s bedrooms. Research has been conducted to explore the relationship between the presence of media devices in both parents’ and children’s bedrooms and the amount of media children use.