Is Baby Einstein Evil?

Filed Under: Life

Baby Einstein, you’ve been getting some bad press here lately. Are you feeling unloved?

I’ve noticed a lot of press recently concerning the Baby Einstein series of videos and its friends.

Do the videos really slow learning and lead to ADD/ADHD?

Dr. Christakis seems to think so and he’s a doctor so he’s got to be right. Right?

After reading all of this and hearing about it on the news for several days, I find myself wondering if maybe the videos are just an easy scapegoat. I have also read a lot of outrage at these studies and I’m wondering why so many people have such a visceral reaction to all of this.

I think that the vast majority of the outrage stems from parental guilt.

From the time we find out we’re pregnant, we’re bombarded with advice and warnings about what we are “supposed” to do.

Every parent wants their child to have a “leg up” when it comes to life [case in point] and for several years, Baby Einstein was touted as a way to make your kid smarter. Pop in a DVD, sit little Johnny in front of the TV and in thirty minutes you have a genius on your hands. But, now we’re warned that we are actually harming our progeny.

The AAP doesn’t help with the guilty issues when they say that no child should watch TV before they’re two. The edict that your child should not watch any TV until they’re two is a wonderful goal, but how practical is it really?

Our television is on from the time I’m sipping on my first cup of coffee until we turn in for the night.

The TV is usually tuned to the news and Cara occasionally watches in it passing. [She particularly enjoys the Ditech commercials] In order for Cara to watch no TV until she’s two, I would have to watch no TV and that just ain’t happening.

I really don’t think that Baby Einstein is really to blame for lowered vocabulary and the ADD/ADHD link is tenuous at best. I think the real issue is kids not getting enough human interaction.

Hold on there. Give me a chance.

There are times when I will turn on Sesame Street for Cara while I cook dinner or while I’m writing. Everyone does it at some point in time. But, TV should not be used as a baby sitter. If your child is spending more time with your Sony than with you, then there’s a problem.

However, I do not think that small amounts of “TV time” punctuated with larger amounts of parental interaction is a bad thing.

No matter how hard I try, I can’t be a creative mom all the time; there are only so many stories that I can come up with and only so many toys that I can make out of Tupperware and macaroni. Sometimes Cara and I need a break from each other. Blues Clues is great for “break time”. She laughs at it, it doesn’t grate my nerves. Life is good.

So, parents of the Internet, take a deep breath. You’re not ruining your kids. I seriously doubt that the twenty minutes of TV that your toddler watched today is going to ruin them academically.

I’m off to turn on The Hoobs so that I can take a shower play interactive learning games with Cara.

Have an enriching day. ;)

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