There are those who feel that television, when used as a learning tool, can be enormously beneficial to young minds as well as not-so-young minds.
"Having a brief break can be really constructive for parents as well as kids," says Dr. Greene. "Parents can take a few minutes to reset all their emotions. They come back to the job of parenting refreshed and ready to play again."
Amy Weintraub, creator and producer of the popular Baby Songs videos, music videos geared to children four years and younger, is all in favor of play. This is her response to the AAP "No TV" policy: "There is a lot of wonderful viewing material out there for young kids. To make such blanket statements is simply not correct."
The Baby Songs videos do not aim to teach; they aim to entertain-child and parent. Who can argue with a mother and toddler dancing around the room in front of the television, singing at the top of their lungs? It may not be educational, but it sure is fun. And there is value in just plain fun, says Amy. And there is even value in fun when a child is experiencing it on her own-dancing solo around that family room while mom cooks dinner or writes a letter or takes a moment to just sit with a cup of tea and breathe.
For most parents, television provides a wonderful supplement to the day. But it is just that—a supplement. They know that too much television can be harmful, just as too much of anything can be harmful. When it comes to television viewing, good parents will continue to do what they have always done: use their best judgment—which often is just about right.