Toddlers with TVs

Twenty percent of children under age 3 have a bedroom TV, says a new study reported by the Chicago Tribune.

In addition to the youngest group, 43 percent of 3- to 4-year-olds have TVs in their rooms, potentially setting up an unhealthy habit, the authors wrote. Previous studies have found that bedroom TVs are linked with childhood obesity, inactivity and low scores on reading and math tests. Research also suggests that extensive viewing before age 3 may cause attention problems later on.

When parents and children watch TV together, they can discuss what’s on the screen. But parents say they put a TV in their toddlers’ bedrooms so everyone in the family can watch their own show. No need to talk to each other.

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  1. Eek. Sadly, I think this sort of attitude is becoming all too common. When I told my roommate that my (currently non-existent) children would not get cell phones until high school and their own computers until college (until then it’ll be a family computer in the living room where I can keep an eye on them), she gasped in disbelief.

    And definitely no television set in their bedrooms.

  2. An overwhelmingly large percentage of criminals eat bread. Therefore, we better not feed our children bread!

    I find studies like these very useless. TV doesn’t cause anything. It’s the inactivity and non interaction while watching TV. It has nothing to do with having a TV in their room, but everything to do with the lifestyle you are teaching them by allowing them to engage in an isolated activity devoid of any physical activity and social interaction.

    It all has to do with active parenting, being involved, sharing quality time, and being a good role model. You can take the TV out of their bedroom, but if you (and them) watch TV all day and not interact or do outdoor activities.. chances are, YOU are already overweight and your kid will end up that way too.

    A lot of this is common sense. I wish studies like these would not come to stupid conclusions like “Don’t put a TV in your kids rooms.” What I’d really like is something that says, “here’s a fun way to spend time with your kids that foster a creative and educational curiosity.” Let’s have more of the do’s and less of the don’ts.


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