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BANISH the Bedroom TV

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 at 8:06 am in Health & Safety, Technology & Video Games, TV.

tv2 We’ve all heard how TVs and computers should be housed in the den, not children’s bedrooms, but we’ve usually heard it in the context of internet safety and television violence concerns. Now, the American Academy of Pediatrics gives us another reason: there’s a link between teens with TVs in their bedroom and unhealthy habits.

A University of Minnesota study found that teens with TVs in their rooms watched four to five hours more television per week than their young colleagues with TVs in the den. Kids with their own TVs joined in fewer family meals and ate fewer fresh fruits and vegetables. They ate more fast food and drank more sugary sodas, and they read fewer books and studied less. And the boys had lower GPAs. Yikes.

So what do you do if the TV’s already in there?

Family rules are not etched in stone, says Walnut Creek family therapist Steven Freemire. When you have new information, it’s important to review and adapt existing policies. Tell your teen, “I’m uncomfortable with this and here’s why.” Or “I want to revisit this policy. I think we made a mistake in allowing this” – whatever “this” may be. Discuss your concerns, listen to his, then revise. You’re the parent.

Your thoughts?

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