CMCH Suggestions: Keep Media in Common Areas

Where are your TVs located?
Those that are in common spaces, such as a family room, are most likely to facilitate interaction between you and your family. Limiting TVs to these spaces allows you to monitor how much TV your children watch and discuss with them the content they see. It can also provide a context for sharing programs, movies, or games as a focused family activity and then turning the media off.

TVs in Bedrooms
TVs in bedrooms make it more difficult for you to monitor time and content, and prevent you from sharing media in positive ways with your children. In addition to these general concerns about TV in the bedroom, scientific research finds that TV in a child’s bedroom can have specific negative health effects:

  • Academics : A study showed that children with bedroom televisions scored significantly lower on math, reading, and language tests (see this study ).
  • Sleep : Children with TVs or computers in their bedrooms went to bed later, got up later, and slept less as a result of sleep anxiety and bedtime resistance (Li 2007).
  • Anxiety : 90% of college students have a story about being frightened by a movie or television program in their childhood. About 25% of those students are still bothered by the images from their memories (see this study ).
  • Aggression : A 17-year study concluded that teens who watched more than one hour of TV per day were almost four times as likely as other teens to commit aggressive acts in adulthood (see this study ).
  • Alcohol : With each considerable increase in television advertising a young male saw, there was close to a 50% higher likelihood of beer consumption and a 34% higher likelihood of drinking wine or hard alcohol (see this study ).
  • Obesity : Children with TVs in their bedrooms had higher BMIs and were significantly more likely to be overweight than those without TVs in their bedrooms (see this study ).

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