The Bedroom TV

My father just offered to purchase a television for my daughter’s bedroom.

I’m still waiting for John Quiñones to pop out of my hall closet because there’s no way my dad’s proposition can be legit.

He’s testing me right?

Like Quiñones does to all those unsuspecting individuals on “What Would You Do?”

A new flat screen TV for my 8-year-old’s bedroom… riiiiight.

From a guy who refused to allow me to touch our family’s TV, which didn’t move from its spot in the living room.  The same dad who mandated that an egg timer be set each time me and my brothers sat down to watch a single program.

There’s no way such an indecent proposal could come from the same man.

The same man, who has on multiple occasions, heard me swear on my grave that my daughter will never be allowed to have a television in her bedroom as long as she is living under my roof.

Put a TV in that kid’s room and we won’t see her again until she’s old enough to vote… or until the set’s picture tube breaks, whichever comes first.

I don’t even let her watch shows by herself on our living room television, so the prospect of allowing her free rein to view goodness knows what on her own TV is completely foreign to me.

In addition to the lack of control I’d have if a boob tube were installed in my child’s bedroom, I’d be concerned for her health.

According to a new study, children who have TVs in their bedrooms are twice as likely to be fat and nearly three times as likely to be at risk for heart disease and diabetes as those who don’t.

Researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center found that youngsters ages 5 to 18 who had TVs in their rooms were nearly 2.5 times more likely than others to have bigger waists and more fat mass.  What’s more, the kids who watched TV for more than five hours a day were at a higher risk for obesity and other serious health concerns.

The findings are published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine along with statistics that show that more than 50 percent of kids in the United States have TVs or computers in their bedrooms.  A third of the study’s participants, all of whom had TVs in their bedrooms, admitted to watching at least five hours of TV a day.  For the record, the American Academy of Pediatrics says children’s TV viewing should be limited to less than two hours a day, ideally with their parents watching with them.

Personally, I’m not a proponent of using television as a babysitter, but I understand that a parent has to do whatever it takes to preserve his or her sanity on certain occasions.  Still, the prospect of gaining a moment’s peace (or 5 hours) is not going to motivate me to take my dad up on his offer.

Does your child have a television in his bedroom?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.