Out of the Mouths of . . . Preteens

A 12-year-old neighbor girl who lives with her dad and grandparents celebrated Christmas with them this past weekend.  Today when I asked her what she got for Christmas, she excitedly replied that she had gotten a TV/DVD player for her room.

As she passed the football back to Elliot, she casually commented, “I used to always eat at the table.  But now I just take all my food to my room to eat.  Now there’s no reason for me to stay out there.”

“Now there’s no reason for me to stay out there.”

I collapsed into a heap in the front yard as I heard those words come from her mouth.  If I hadn’t been so paralyzed at the truth and tragedy of her comment, I would have dashed across the street and begged her grandparents to move that new TV into the living room!

This sweet, sweet girl who has already had quite a trying 12 years — her parents divorced when she was little bitty, her dad and step-mom divorced this past year, her father was away in Iraq for a couple of years — is now bound to spend her teen years in her bedroom by herself, isolated, instead of out at the table with her family.

Am I the only one who feels the need to scream, “NO!!!!!!” at the top of my lungs?

Is it possible that the simple act of letting a child have a TV in their room contributes to the deterioration of her relationship and her openness with her parents?  Are parents just handing over the nurturing and bonding opportunity with their children by sending them to their room with their own TV?  I think it is possible.  And I’m guessing most parents are doing it without even realizing the impact it has on their children.

I am a little sick to my stomach.

I hope I remember this moment when my boys ask for a TV in their room in the next couple of years.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Mark on December 23, 2009 at 3:54 PM

    Our rule:
    No computer in the bedroom. No TV in the bedroom. If your kids complain, you can tell them that their (older, if only by a few months) cousins in Waco don’t have one in their bedroom either. Don’t give in!


  2. Posted by Amy Cable on December 23, 2009 at 8:56 PM

    What a tragedy! This is exactly one of the reasons I refuse to let my kids have a tv or computer in their rooms.


  3. Posted by Renee' on December 24, 2009 at 12:06 AM

    I think it is horrible! Our kids have asked if they can have a TV in their room and the answer is and will always be NO! We have a wonderful room that holds the TV and we will share it as a family. Their computer is also in that same wonderful room – the family room! I hope you and your family will be a wonderful influence on this girl!!! Merry Christmas to your family!


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