When a parent is able to sit with a child and use these shows as a teaching tool, then children can benefit positively from the use of television. Of the new movies that are released each year, you can bet that several of them are based on books.
Parents can challenge kids to read a book with the promise of going to the theater or renting the movie when they finish it.
Television provides a reason for families to spend time together.
Parents can still limit viewing by designating specific hours or programs on a weekly schedule.
It keeps kids occupied while Mom steals a moment to catch up on household finances, chores or other necessary tasks.
However, the "TV rots your brain" canard may be overselling the negatives a bit as more and more parents recognize the positive aspects of TV viewing, particularly with so many quality choices available.
Setting aside some of those hours specifically for family viewing encourages interaction, conversation and togetherness.
Whether it becomes a bonding moment with young kids watching "Sesame Street" or endless discussions about the plot intricacies of "Lost" with your teens, television can be a catalyst for family interaction.
Children under two should not watch television at all, according to recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics, and older children should have very limited hours of watching TV.
In the real world, parents often rely on television as kind of a de-facto babysitter.