My Son Wants A Television in His Room

04 October, 2020
Q My nine-year-old son wants a television in his room. He tells me that his friends all have them. What's your opinion?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

•Preteens and teenagers naturally strive for some degree of separation, but I have found, from my experience as a mother to children this age, that deep in their hearts they want to be included.

•In this situation, as well as in others that are likely to follow, you should strive to keep him an active member of the family.


Asalamu `alaikum,

This is a familiar dilemma. As a child becomes older, he wants to separate himself from the family and do what his friends are doing. You will need to compromise with him on some issues. But a television in the bedroom, in my opinion, should not be one of them.

There are two immediate dangers when a child or young person has his own television. The most obvious, of course, is the content of TV programs.

When the family watches shows together, you can regulate what the child is watching. Even when something bad appears on the screen unexpectedly, you can discuss it from an Islamic viewpoint. This is much harder when the child is isolated in his or her bedroom.

Your son will hear of programs his friends watch, which you may not approve of, and want to check them out. You will end up with very little control over the quality of what he views.

Another danger is that your son can become isolated from the rest of the family.  When everyone is watching a show together, you can comment on it and share the experience. When he is used to being alone, he may separate himself from his parents and siblings in other ways.


Check out this counseling answer:


Preteens and teenagers naturally strive for some degree of separation, but I have found, from my experience as a mother to children this age, that deep in their hearts they want to be included. 

In this situation, as well as in others that are likely to follow, you should strive to keep him an active member of the family.

Remember, too, that whatever concessions are made for the oldest child will be demanded by the younger siblings. If you give in on this issue, it could change the dynamics of your family for years to come.

Television can be a useful tool. It can also be a purveyor of evil thoughts and actions. It is up to the parents, as adults, to teach children to discern the good programs from the bad. A nine-year-old is too young to be able to do this consistently.

As I said, you have just begun the period when your child tries to separate himself from you and establish himself as an individual. This should be encouraged, but within well-marked parameters founded in the teachings of Islam.

Salam

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