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Parenting

Should I Let My Child Have Electronics in The Bedroom?

Electronics in The Bedroom
Image via StockUnlimited

In our house we love electronics. Both I and my husband use a computer and phone for work, and our eight year old has both a laptop and a tablet for homework and play. That being said, we never let our child have electronics in the bedroom. It’s a strict rule we never break.

If you’re trying to decide if your child should have electronics in the bedroom, here are some important tips to consider.

SHOULD YOU LET YOUR CHILD HAVE ELECTRONICS IN THE BEDROOM

Should I Let My Child Have Electronics in The Bedroom?

Electronics in the bedroom is a serious issue for both adults and children. It can really start to affect a child’s sleep, academic performance and even behavior. If you are trying to avoid letting your child have electronics in the bedroom, here are some ways to deal with the issue.

1. Your Bedroom Is for Sleeping

The main function of a bedroom is to go to sleep in. It should be cool, comfortable and inviting. For a child, it should be full of a range of things they like, but not so cluttered that they get distracted and donít want to sleep. Keeping it neat and tidy also means fewer nightmares from shadows on the walls that make their toy dinosaur look ten feet tall.

2. The Bedroom Is Not an Office

Don’t cram the room with a desk, computer and so on. Have one family computer downstairs and time its use, and for which purposes. Studies have shown that children can easily become addicted to the internet and on-screen activities.

should children have electronics in the bedroom

3. The bedroom Is Not the Family Den

It is recommended that children should not have a TV and/or DVD player in their room. If they are going to watch TV or a film, they should do it downstairs with the rest of the family.

4. Make Time for Family Activities

Take an interest in their homework. Have dinner around the table as a family at least three nights a week. Read bedtime stories or do crafts like our DIY Pet Monster. All of these activities will help you bond as a family and improve their readiness to sleep once in bed.

 

Electronics in The Bedroom

5. Give Them Only the Most Basic Mobile Phone

A mobile phone is important these days to help keep children safe, but it does not have to be the latest model with all the bells and whistles that they can game on all night and text on all day. Insist on them being put away at least an hour before bed so the small screen does not overly stimulate them.

6. Tablets, eReaders and Media Players

While these can be great educational tools, you still need to monitor where and when they are used. Studies have shown that they can interfere with sleep patterns due to the suppression of melatonin, which helps people fall asleep and stay asleep.

What’s so bad about the light from electronics?

The blue light that’s emitted from these screens can delay the release of sleep-inducing melatonin, increase alertness, and reset the body’s internal clock (or circadian rhythm ) to a later schedule. 

Normally, the pineal gland in the brain begins to release melatonin a couple of hours before bedtime, and melatonin reaches its peak in the middle of the night. When people read on a blue light-emitting device (like a tablet, rather than from a printed book) in the evening, it takes them longer to fall asleep; plus, they tend to have less REM sleep (when dreams occur) and wake up feeling sleepier— even after eight hours of shuteye.” – TheSleepFoundation.org

But there is a way to let your kids enjoy their game time without affecting their melatonin – blue light blocking glasses. Each member of my family owns a pair and we wear them any time we’re going to be staring at an electronics screen for more than a few minutes.


7. Don’t Buy the “I Need It to Fall Asleep” Argument

People from the dawn of time have managed to fall asleep without the help of an electronic device. Swap a screen for a storybook instead. You and your child will be able to enjoy a good story and a shared experience together.

8. Set a Good Example

If you are married to your smartphone or computer, it’s time to put it down and try to go media free. Smartphones have only been around ten years. Yes, you really can live without them. Or at least, keep all the bedrooms in your home free of electronics.

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