Percentage of US Kids with TVs in their Bedrooms

By , June 12, 2008 8:03 pm

Something to think about:

In the United States –

  • 19% of children aged 1 and under have a TV in their bedroom.
  • 29% of children aged 2-3 have a TV in their bedroom.
  • 43% of children aged 4-6 years have a TV in their bedroom.

And this:

“I watch CSI…[S]he sits down and watches with me. I don’t know how harmful it is to her. It’s something gory, but it doesn’t seem to bother her. She hasn’t had any nightmares from it.”

-Mother of a 1-3 year old, Irvine, California

Statistics and quote from a Kaiser Family Foundation study entitled: The Media Family: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers, and Their Parents


16 Responses to “Percentage of US Kids with TVs in their Bedrooms”

  1. Tamara says:

    The CSI quote reminded me of a lady I met last year who told me her 2 preschool children love CSI and watch it with her. She thought they were learning some science from it and it was good.

    I was pretty surprised because I tried to watch CSI twice and both times it gave me a serious case of the creeps, way too gory and scary for me.

  2. OK, now I’m depressed!

    Sally McEntires last blog post..Whew!

  3. nina says:

    This is so hard to believe. I wonder if co-sleeping accounts for any of that. Seriously, why would a young child need a tv in their bedroom. I can understand the thinking for a 6 year old perhaps but not a 2 year old.

    ninas last blog post..A little about the books we are enjoying

  4. Candy Cook says:

    Like Tamara pointed out. A lot of parents probably believe their kids are learning something from it – whether it be CSI orone the 24 hour baby & children’s networks. I’m definitely not defending the idea of letting kids watch CSI or too much TV.

    When I was 9, we didn’t even own a TV. When I was in high school, we had a TV without cable. Up until my youngest turned 3 we didn’t have cable tv and I’m still debating with my husband over keeping it or not.

    Candy Cooks last blog post..Corn

  5. Mom Unplugged says:

    Those are all great comments. Although it seems unbelievable to me that a parent would allow a child to watch a show like CSI, I suppose as Tamara and Candy said, perhaps some parents do think their is an educational benefit. The study actually discusses the fact that many of the parents saw TV as educationally benefiting their children, but I was saving that aspect for another post. Or as Nina mentioned, they are sharing a bedroom and the parents are watching those shows.

    Actually Nina, your comment on the co-sleeping was something that had occurred to me also. I was wondering how many of the children in the study (especially in the under 1 age group) share a bed, or sleep in a crib in the parents’ room. I didn’t see any distinction mentioned in the study between “own room” versus “parents’ room.”

    Are there any other thoughts on the subject out there?

  6. Kayris says:

    I used to work on Thursday nights and taped the couple of shows I watch that night. When my son was one, I would sometimes watch my shows the next day with him in the room. He never paid any attention to the TV at all, and we played together while I watched. Now that he is older, I would never ever let him watch the shows that I watch because the material is inappropriate for kids.

    The quote says “mom of a 1-3 year old” and I think the actual age of the child make a difference. A one year old really won’t grasp what is going on. However, they might learn some unsavory words. A three year old or a two year old are much more aware.

    I quit watching CSI because the story lines were always about weirdo deviant sex stuff. Even without the gore, I don’t want my kids seeing that.

    Kayriss last blog post..Photo Shoot Part II

  7. KIM says:

    That’s an awful statistic! YUK!!!
    And we wonder why our children’s minds are turning to mush. :((

  8. Seriously, no one should have a TV in the bedroom.

    Mom and Kiddos last blog post..Full Disclosure

  9. […] I found this website that listed some staggering statistics about kids with tv’s in their rooms.  19% of children 1 and under have tv’s in their […]

  10. CelticMommy says:

    Okay, that is just a sickeningly (?) sad set of statistics! I have a cousin whose kids all have TVs in their room… and they all exhibit insomnia problems. The one who is the same age as Em (4) knows how to turn the TV on and off, rewind tapes and play DVDs– of which they have an extensive collection. It shocks me. And then, I have relatives who don’t see “WHY” I let my kids only watch very little supervised and timed amounts of television and/or get upset that I even mention I’d prefer they not watch much if they are with them…. an uphill battle that I refuse to lose!!

    Admittedly, you’ll laugh when I tell you… we just bought a new flat screen. It’s ridiculously large! I can read the closed captioning without my glasses on even. But, we justify it in that we never go to the movies and we DVR record everything we choose to watch so that we watch with effort… not just mindlessly. Our last TV purchase was 11 years ago I think. No TVs for either child in their rooms and there will not be until they buy it themselves. PLENTY of shelf space and budget for books, not an inch of room to spare for TV thank-you-very-much!

    Lastly, my guess on the stats about co-sleeping. My thought would be that these are the rooms that are the kids’ rooms only… not a den or parents bedroom. And if that is the case… woo hoo! Just awful!

  11. bobbie says:

    crazy… my kids watch plenty of tv but only cartoons or one movie after school…. i was talking to a mom at school and saying how we liked the show LOST she said she let her kids watch it, and supernatural (!!) which replaces Lost on the off seasons i couldnt believe it, and she was laughing that i was shocked.. my kids watched their first non cartoon movie the other day – enchanted and they are 7 and 5!! some people just dont think

    we just did a no tv week 2 weeks ago and I was appalled that my kids behaviour was worse and one daughter actually got in trouble at school… i think TV was subdueing my kids and zombiefying them, so I am mortified at this outcome.. they are actually watching a lot less tv now they go to school as compared to when i was a SAHM of 3 small kids and I sometimes guiltyly used the tv to babysit so i could clean!!b

    bobbies last blog post..Sabbath

  12. Anna says:

    That’s disgusting. I’ll admit we have a tv but not in ANY bedroom, including our own. I don’t understand the point and certainly can’t justify the expense. Our tv is tucked away in a cabinet in the basement and used sparingly. I can’t quite seem to cut us off from it entirely, but out of site out of mind works rather nicely.

    Annas last blog post..Crazy – I’ve been interviewed!

  13. Christine says:

    Our kids do not (and will not ever, if I have anything to say about it) have TVs in their bedrooms. We don’t have one in our room either. We also got rid of cable 6 months ago and don’t miss it at all (well, maybe the food network!). We do have our 1 year old watch baby einstein videos (maybe one a day a few days a week) but no TV shows. overall we keep media to one hour or less per day with Mondays and Fridays being media-free. The hardest thing about our media rules is that when they’re over friends houses the TV is on all the time. We have to monitor how much friend time they have with kids in the neighborhood.

    Christines last blog post..Birthday post for my first-born

  14. Kate in NJ says:

    Yikes! CSI? I don’t even watch that.
    We watch tv at our house, but P does not
    have one in her room (there is one in a cabinet in our room
    not of my choosing).and never will.
    She does watch “adult programming” as we watch a lot of NOVA
    and such all together, but we watch very little “network tv”.

    Kate in NJs last blog post..Father’s Day

  15. Tina says:

    I do believe the facts…when my kids go to spend the night at most of their friends homes I have to call and tell the parents that no tv allowed in the bedrooms. Most of their friends have tvs and very few limits . We currently do not have cable. satellite ect. We do have movies as a family and limit the time we watch tv. It really makes a difference! We do more constructive things as a family. ( of course the same goes for computer time )

    Tinas last blog post..Sunflower Update

  16. Ugh I can’t stand when parents put TVs in kids’ rooms! I blame the character themed TVs a lot, we have friends and each boy got a Cars TV for their rooms at 2 & 5 yrs old. I know they have a bunch of different ones for both boys and girls and the sets look cute but WHY???
    When our babies slept in our bed and we watched TV at night we always turned the baby to face us and not the TV. We also only watch things we TIVO so we can fast forward commercials and be very choosy about shows we let the kids see.

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