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Media in Your Teenagers Bedroom

Categories: Children Parent Resources,Parent Resources

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This is from a weekly newsletter I receive from Eric Tooley with “Ultimate Escape.” Eric is a youth speaker who speaks about purity. We are hopefully having him at Crossroads in February 2014.

It seems like every parent program I have ever done I have taught that it is not good to allow a television or a computer in your child’s bedroom.

Once at a public middle school, I was making this point and a parent interrupted me and yelled out that was so unrealistic. She said, “Parents can’t take everything away. We love our kids. We want them to have a life!” When I didn’t back off from my point, she walked out and left the program.

Is television “everything,” “love,” and even “life?” Sometimes I wonder if that accurately describes our culture’s value of television and media.

Let me add one more warning about our children’s use of media.

A recent study looked at children’s television, video-game, and computer usage to determine if it had an impact on their sleep. The content of the media was evaluated for violence, scariness, and pacing (fast or slow plot). Among the study’s findings were the following:

  • Children with a bedroom television consumed more media and were more likely to have a sleep problem.
  • No sleep problems were observed with nonviolent daytime media use.
  • Sleep problems increased 40% with violent media content.
  • Sleep problems increased 74% (almost twice as much as violent content) with each additional hour of evening media use.

Parents, let me say it again. Please,

  • Remove the television from your child/teen’s bedroom.
  • Remove the computer from your child/teen’s bedroom.
  • Remove video games from your child/teen’s bedroom.
  • Cell phones should be given to parents every night an hour before bedtime.
  • Avoid all video game, cell phone, television, and computer usage in the hour before bedtime.
(“Media Use and Child Sleep: The Impact of Content, Timing, and Environment.” Garrison, et al. Pediatrics 2011; peds.2010-3304) http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/06/23/peds.2010-3304.abstract
Eric Tooley of UltimateEscape.orgEric Tooley of UltimateEscape.org
“Ultimate Escape helps young people pursue healthy sexuality and overcome addictive sexual behavior.  It was founded by Steve and Holly Holladay in 2004.  Steve currently serves as the director of Ultimate Escape.  Steve’s background in youth ministry (20+ years) and his personal journey of recovery help him fill his roles with Ultimate Escape with passion and understanding.
Ultimate Escape presents information about sexuality at churches, schools and community events across the country.  Ultimate Escape’s style is fresh, captivating and straight-forward.  Information is presented in a way that is fun to experience and easy to understand.  You will never look at a chocolate bunny the same again! “