The other day I had the cable man put up a plasma television with a PVR box, featuring more than 300 channels, in my 8-year old daughter’s bedroom.
I’m not suggesting that a television in the bedroom is great for every child. I just know my child. She is the type that if I say, “This show is annoying,” and then I just turn it off, she’s like, “Ok, I’m going to go write in my journal then.” I would say that she watches a total of one hour of television a day. If she was a television junkie, I probably wouldn’t be okay with putting a television in her room.
I’m not sure where the rule came about that children shouldn’t have televisions in their room, but, obviously, I don’t buy into it. They say adults, too, shouldn’t have televisions in their rooms, because apparently it ruins your sex life. I can tell you that I have a huge television in my room and it doesn’t interfere at all with my sex life. In fact, other than watching a couple television shows, or movies, the television is very rarely on in our bedroom.
There are a few reasons I’m happy my daughter has a television now in her room. First, I’m sick of shows like Suite Life, Hanna Montana, Jessie, and A.N.T. Farm. The only pre-teen show I really enjoy is Good Luck Charlie. So, now, when she wants to watch a show that I can’t bare listening or watching, I can send her to her room. Second, when she has play dates or sleepovers, she and her friends always end up watching a movie at some point. Again, this now can be done in her room, away from the crying baby. There are only so many times a parent can watch Spy Kids, if you know what I mean. And when the baby cries, my daughter just turns up the volume. Also, she doesn’t do homework in her bedroom. She does it at the kitchen table. So it’s not like she’ll be professing to go upstairs to “do her homework” and then end up watching television.
I also don’t care if she wants to watch a little television before she goes to bed. In fact, I think it may stop the procrastination that happens almost every night before going to bed. Already I’m like, “Brush your teeth, pee, get into your pajamas and you can watch one show and then it’s lights off.” And, actually, it has worked! I peeked into her room for the last three nights and she had listened to me. She was sound asleep each night.
I am sure there are experts out there who say watching television before bed is not a good idea. In fact, I know there are. Oh well. It works for my child and that’s all I care about.
I also think the earlier (not at four or five) but at eight or nine, is a good time to get a television in a child’s room. My parents never let me eat McDonalds when I was a child. So, as soon as I moved out, I was eating McDonalds at least three times a week. To actually give my daughter a television in her room BEFORE she starts begging for one, or feels like she’s missing out on something, means that it will just become a normal thing, something she isn’t craving or begging for.
This does work on my daughter.
I always had candies and chocolates out since she was little. Because of that, she doesn’t think chocolate is a big deal, so don’t even try and bribe her with that because she doesn’t give a damn about chocolate. I never used candy as a bribe, just like I won’t use television as a bribe. (Aside from getting her INTO bed.)
Of course, I will have to see how this plays out. Who knows? Maybe she will sneak and turn on the television late at night. But I know my daughter and I just don’t think that’s going to happen. While she’s excited about having a television in her room, she isn’t THAT excited. She doesn’t really talk about it at all.
My daughter, too, is the type of person who needs some down time alone. She doesn’t need to be around me all the time. So if she chooses to go to her room to watch a little television after a long day of school and then dance lessons, so be it. I didn’t make the whole “You’re-getting-a-television-in-your-bedroom” a big deal. I just did it, without any conversation with her about it before it happened. She just came home from school and it was there.
There have been no discussions about “If you don’t keep up with your school work then the television is gone!” I think she’s smart enough to know this without me having to say so.
I hope she enjoys having a television in her room. I know I will if I never have to hear the theme song to A.N.T. Farm again. It’s a win-win situation if you ask me.