Should You Put a TV in a Child’s Bedroom?

Parents Respond to Our Survey

We compiled a survey of more than 600 parents asking them about their child’s TV tendencies, whether their little one has their own TV, and if they regret it.

No matter what parents do to limit their screen time, kids will always love television. Whether it’s the latest cartoon craze, like Bluey or Peppa Pig, or their favourite YouTubers, kids will always love spending their free time watching TV. Who are we kidding? Parents love TV too! However, when it comes to having a television in their bedroom, there’s often a big debate in households whether it’s appropriate.

75% of children want a TV in their room

How Old Were Children When They Were Given Their Own TV?

We asked parents how old their children were when their wishes were granted and a small TV was put in their bedroom. The majority of answers (33%) said that their children were aged between four and seven, while 21.6% of surveyed people said they gave their children their own TV from ages seven to 11.

Surprisingly, the third-highest answer (19.1%) was from parents who said they haven’t given their children a television in their bedroom.

What Age Did Your Child Start Asking for a TV?

In our survey, 500 people said that their child had asked for a television in their bedroom – 74.6% of all answers. In terms of the age of their little ones when they asked, the most popular answer, at 45.8%, aged four to seven. Children three and under were next with 23.1% of parents fielding that question from their little one’s early age.

So, it seems that younger children are most persistent when it comes to asking for a television, and the majority of surveyed parents agreed to give them a TV.

We asked our respondents for more detail and one person said: “My son is nearly seven and has just started asking for a TV in his room, but we will probably wait another year or two.”

Another person thought that children should have a TV from an early age: “TV should be put in children’s rooms early to increase their reading ability,” they said.

However, there were differing opinions, such as this person’s response: “I don’t think it’s appropriate to have a TV set in the room when the child is young. I’ll wait until the child is older and has his or her own opinion.”

Do These Parents Regret Giving Their Child a TV?

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, so when asked if they regretted giving their child a television in their own room, what did parents say?

It seems that there was some regret as the majority of answers (43.7%) said they would give their child a TV in their own room at an older age. The fewest number of people – but still 22.3% – actually said that they’d give their little one their own TV at an earlier age, suggesting that they don’t rue giving them one. Also, 34% of parents surveyed actually said they’d do the same thing again.

One person who we surveyed believed that TV can be beneficial to children, saying: “I think there are both good and bad things about children watching TV, and the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. TV can help them learn a lot.”

Falling Asleep While Watching TV

One issue that could arise with a TV in your child’s bedroom is they could often watch movies and TV shows late into the night. This could result in them falling asleep while watching the television.

When asked if their child uses the TV to fall asleep at night, 44.7% of people said theirs did, while 19.8% said their child occasionally falls asleep with the TV on.

One of our survey participants disagreed with the idea of their child watching TV to fall asleep. “Never have had a TV in their room and won’t until they can pay for their own (aka are adults),” they said. “My son has ADHD and sleep issues, and all the sleep advice is no screens in bedrooms.”

Expert Opinion

Linda Pagani, a professor at the University of Montreal’s School of Psycho-Education, conducted a study in 2019 on the effects a television in the bedroom may have on children.

Her research found that children who have a TV in their bedroom at age four “predicted a higher body mass index at age 12, more unhealthy eating habits at age 13, higher levels of emotional distress, depressive symptoms, victimisation, physical aggression, and lowers levels of sociability at age 12, above and beyond pre-existing individual and family factors.”


While the research conducted by Ms Pagani suggests that children can become unhealthy with the addition of a TV in their bedroom, this won’t necessarily apply to all cases. Carefully managed screen time from parents, including the content they watch, can have a positive effect on some children. There are plenty of educational programmes that can be accessed, and can become useful for many children.

In summary, depending on the child, a TV in the bedroom can be both beneficial and negative to their physical and mental development. As long as screen time is carefully managed, and the child’s behaviour isn’t affected by their bedroom TV, many parents can agree that it’s not particularly a bad thing to give them their own screen.

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