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More Kids Are 'Plugged' Into Bedrooms; Families Try To Keep TV Time In Check

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CARY — Television is taking more and more of your child's time. A recent study shows that 65 percent of American children have a television in their bedroom, and a growing number of them are toddlers. Some local families are keeping television time in check.

Carolyn Donnee, 17, and her brother, Christopher, 14, like to unwind by watching a little MTV in their bedrooms at night.

"I don't have time, really, to watch a lot of TV so it's just here to relax whenever I have nothing else to do. It's just fills up time," Carolyn says.

Susan Donnee says her children are good students who do not abuse the privilege.

"They've never been couch potatoes and they never abuse the TV anyway, so we felt like it would be a nice option for them to have at the end of the day -- to be able to relax in their rooms quietly before they go to bed," she says.

Therese and Steve Gaal have decided against allowing 5-year-old Danielle to have a television in her bedroom.

"It's too easy for them to sneak it on when you are not watching or for them to change the channel," Theresa says. "You just lose control."

"You have to monitor what they are watching because the quality of TV has gone down," Steve says.

Psychologists say parents should pay attention to how kids use the television in their bedroom.

"I've given you the privilege of this television. This is how it is supposed to be used," says psychologist Don Azevedo. "This is the reason that I gave it to you, and then enforce that."

Family therapists say some children with their own televisions may be tempted to stay in their rooms more and spend less time with the family. They say parents should not hesitate to take the television away if it interferes with family interaction or homework.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Adrienne Traxinger, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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