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My child has a TV
in her room. I've heard that's a no-no, but she loves it and it really helps us.
What should I do?
Take it out of the room. I know it sounds extreme and way
too simple to be true, but everyone in the family is better off in the end
without a TV in the bedroom. She will have big feelings about it to
start but, like changing any other sleep habit, she will adjust over time.
Kids of any age who have TVs in their rooms don't sleep as much on
average as kids whose rooms are screen-free. There are many possible reasons
Kids who watch TV before bed sleep less than those who stick
to books and songs;
The light from television screens—as well as other
electronics, like iPads—suppresses the release of melatonin. When this happens,
we don't feel drowsy, and our bodies are tricked into thinking it's still
With a screen in the room, there's bound to be more "Just one more
episode!" or confusion in the child's mind as to whether her bedroom is for
sleeping or entertainment;
If the TV is actually on while the child is falling
asleep, it can be very disorienting if she wakes up later in a quiet room.
Explain that you're changing the bedrooms so everyone can
sleep well, and empathize with her feelings. Re-structure the bedtime routines
to add in other engaging and enticing elements: a new installment of a story
with a cliffhanger every night or singing songs while making shadows with a
flashlight on the wall. Let your child pick wall decals to go in the space
where the TV was, or choose a poster together online. Hang artwork, and make a
special trip to the store to buy a new stuffed animal to help with the change.