"Go To Your Room – And Don’t Turn on your TV, your Computer, your Video Games…"
Many children and teens unsupervised watching TV’s and Computers in their rooms
By Meg Jalsevac
LANGLEY, B.C., August 25, 2006 (www.LifeSiteNews.com) -- Eighty-three percent of children under six usually watch about two hours of TV or some other form of screen media according to a study performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation and reported by Today’s Family News. Screen media includes watching TV, videos & DVDs, computer use and video games. By the time children reach the age of four to six, that figure has risen to 90 percent of children having high daily exposure to some form of media.
Most notably, the study highlights that more and more children and teens are being allowed this screen time in the privacy of their own rooms, totally separate from other family members and away from parental supervision.
The results of the study show that 19 percent of children one or under had their own television in their room and 43 percent of children in the four to six age group. A separate Gallup Poll shows that 64 percent of teens aged 13 to 17 had TV’s in their rooms and 28 percent had a computer with internet in their bedrooms.
According to the Kaiser study parents justify their liberal use of television by claiming that, among other reasons, TV and videos teach such lessons as the ABCs and that TV is an able babysitter allowing parents to accomplish other things. TV time is also used as a reward and as a soothing agent before bed. However, the most common reason that parents give for putting a television in their child’s room was that it allows parents and other children to watch their own shows.
Even the conductors of the Kaiser study were surprised by these results. Victoria Rideout, lead researcher, told AP, “I had this sense of kids clamoring to use media and parents trying to keep their finger in the dam. I found that not be a very accurate picture in most cases.”
Bedroom use of TV’s presents a danger because it has been found to diminish family activities and prevent family interaction. With bedroom TV’s, parents have little or no control over the content or amount of television watched, allowing for excessive amounts of media absorption by their child or teen.