As with most child-rearing subjects, there are differing points of view on whether or not a child should have a television in his room. Despite these differing opinions, many people do recognize that it can provide at least some value for children, including a wealth of educational programs. Just as many remain unsure of where to draw the line, however.
Those who are opposed to televisions in the rooms of children often cite isolation as a primary negative. They assert that the child will spend less time interacting with his family, which can lead to less of a sense of being close and connected to the family. Also, parents have less control over what a child views if he is able to pick and watch shows in the privacy of his own room. Given some of the programming available on both regular and cable, this can be very troubling.
Another very real concern is the connection between too much TV watching and childhood obesity. A child who is watching television is not running, playing, or otherwise burning significant calories. If the child is allowed to snack in his room as well, he could pack on extra pounds with time. When you consider that obesity is connected with a variety of serious health issues, providing a child with his own TV may not be such a good idea.
Some parents worry that children with televisions in their rooms may concentrate less on homework and studying. Reading for entertainment and creative pursuits may be pushed aside for favorite programs. Additionally, some children may stay up late watching the TV instead of getting much needed rest. If parents are asleep in their rooms, they may be completely unaware that this is happening.
Despite the arguments against it, many parents feel there is little to no problem with letting kids have their own TVs. Some parents feel that making rules for television watching and enforcing them is enough, and they trust their children to follow these rules when they cannot supervise them. Some also use special, password-protected technology to restrict what their children can watch, although restricting the time spent in front of the TV may be more difficult.