Wednesday, March 31, 2004

TV keeps kids up

I read an eyebrow-raising report tonight on children's sleep habits, which concludes that kids aren't getting enough sleep and they're keeping their parents up in the process. It wasn't the sleep statistics that got me, though; it was this little tidbit in a section on how having a TV in kids' rooms contributed to their wakefulness:
School-aged children are the most likely to have a television in their bedroom (43%), although parents/caregivers report nearly one-third of preschoolers and even 20 percent of infants and toddlers have a television in the bedroom.
Nearly half of school-aged children have a TV in their bedrooms? Please, please, please please please don't let my daughter get wind of that. She's already convinced that I never let her do what everybody else gets to do. She doesn't need research to back her up.

I've been resisting the idea of a TV in her room for a while now, ever since my sister-in-law announced she'd bought my daughter a little TV/VCR for Christmas and I made her take it back. It seems like a bad idea on so many levels -- harder to monitor what she's watching, harder to get her to spend time with the family, harder to pay for more cable -- and even on those days when I'd do anything not to have to watch what she's watching and spending time with the family means nonstop sibling squabbling, I've remained firm. Now I guess I have more research on my side, too; the girl needs her sleep. If half her classmates are staying up late to catch Letterman, she'll have a little alertness advantage at school, and she can use all the advantages she can get.

No comments: